Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Book Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

I'm a chick lit kind of girl. I like soppy teenage romances that make up for my lack of love life and give me lovely little daydreams for when I am supposed to be listening to what my teacher is droning on about in Business Studies. Because of this, I was utterly taken by surprise by the absolute enjoyment I got out of reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon - the name is a mouthful and a half.

This is probably not something I would have chosen myself, but one of my friends in my advanced higher English class is studying it for her dissertation and loved it. When I saw that it was part of a three for £10 offer on Amazon, I reckoned I would give it a go and see if I agreed with her thoughts on it. Boy, was that a good idea.

"I saw four yellow cars in a row on the way to school which made it a Black Day, so I didn't eat anything at lunch and I sat in the corner of the room all day and read my A-level maths course book. And the next day, I saw four yellow cars in a row on the way to school so it was a Black Day too, so I didn't speak to anyone and for the whole afternoon I sat in the corner of the library groaning with my head pressed into the joint between the two walls and this made me feel calm and safe. But on the third day I kept my eyes closed all the way to school until we got off the bus because after I have had two Black Days in a row I am allowed to do that."

I have never read anything like this. It is about a fifteen year old boy called Christopher who has Asperger's Syndrome. He likes everything to be very practical, and can't handle change. He hates specific colours, such as brown. He doesn't like his food touching (a bit like me actually). He likes things to be simple and to the point. He works everything out in a methodical mathematical manner (that's some alliteration there, Holly). He doesn't like it when people phrase questions too openly, they should ask exactly what it is they want to know. So when his neighbour's dog is murdered with a garden fork during the night, this is a mystery to him. Who did it? Why would they do it? He decides he is going to find out, and write it all down in a book as he goes along. 

Curious Incident is a touching story that gives you a real insight into the mind of a young boy with Asperger's, or so we are led to believe by the blurb. It never specifically mentions what behavioural disorder Christopher actually has in the book, but it is clear he lies somewhere on the autistic spectrum. Haddon's reluctance to apply a label to him throughout the story may suggest that Christopher is not fully aware of it or doesn't find it an important fact to mention, or it could possibly be down to the author not wanting to offend or be overly specific. Because of his inability to understand other people's emotions and what is happening around him, we are able to notice things which he does not and read between the lines, in a way. We can pick up on things and understand why things are the way they are much quicker than Christopher can himself, especially when it comes to his relationship with his dad. This makes it a compelling read that had me turning the pages for hours on end, when I really should have been sleeping or doing homework...

Have you ever read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (I still can't get over how long that name is)?

Holly

4 comments

  1. I just discovered your blog and I really love it! I'm off to uni this year too - scary stuff!!

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is such a great book. It was recommended to me by my English teacher and is now a favourite. :)

    Emily x

    wondersofafairytale.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. Thank you, I'm so glad you like it! Oh I know, I'm dreading it and excited about it at the same time, didn't know that was possible!


    It really is, I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would and I am so glad I made the decision to read it.


    Oh and welcome to my blog haha! x

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  3. This was the first book I ever properly got into when I became a teenager! (About 5 years ago!) I loved it so much, absolutely fascinating read and such a joy! You've made me want to pick this book back off my shelf! Thank you!



    Caitylis
    www.caitylis.blogspot.com

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  4. I've just come across your beautiful blog and its simply gorgeous to read! I haven't read this novel but a few of my friends absolutely adored it to smithereens. I'm incredibly tempted to borrow one of their copy's now, haha! Thanks for sharing Holly, looking forward to future posts :)
    Renee xx
    www.reneealexisxo.blogspot.com

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