The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

I read this recently for my book club and I wish I could say I enjoyed it as much as most of the other’s there seemed to.


Christopher Boone, a fifteen year old boy with Asperger’s syndrome, stumbles upon the body of his neighbour’s dog. Christopher has a supremely logical brain and decides he’ll try and solve the mystery of who killed the dog. So begins his journey which deals with many more issues along the way.


Asperger’s syndrome was made clear to me in a way that it hasn’t been before and since reading this I have a much firmer grasp on it. I’ve heard from many others that this book is one of the best in illuminating the topic. It also took a look at how Asperger’s affects the caretakers, in this case Christopher’s mother and father. His mother found it too much to take and basically abandoned Christopher to his father to look after. Some members of my book club had more sympathy with this than I did. I have no time for abandonment in any shape or form.


Because of Christopher’s condition it was hard to relate to him. As I’m the type of person whose ratings are largely proportional to how much I relate to the protagonist, it wasn’t a winner for me. I did recognise how well this book handled Asperger’s and the related themes, but I just didn’t enjoy it all that much.


One of the best aspects for me was when Christopher was reflected through his interaction with others, such as his neighbours and father.


Some of the plot manoeuvres were quite astounding and the one that happened at the mid-point was completely unexpected.


The journey that Christopher went on over the course of the novel was an important one. It was a journey that wouldn’t mean much in any other sense, but because of Christopher’s personage it meant more. The simplicity of his journey was what made it so profound. The book in its entirety did however feel flat to me, but was appreciated for its sensitivity to topic.