Reading a novel told from an interesting first person perspective makes the novel better if done right. Which is exactly the type of book we will be reviewing today. It is called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.
The narrator of the book is Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy who experiences the world differently than everyone else around him. He is awkward and smart and his thought process is how we experience the novel.
When Christopher discovers the neighbor’s dog dead, he decides to solve it no matter what. But he doesn’t like to be touched and retaliates when he is. He is also frightened easily. His narration and the reader’s experience will be different.
The mystery/adventure forces Christopher to venture out of his comfort zone and come face to face with other people. But when Christopher unveils things about his mother, he realizes there is a lot more hidden from him than he realized. Who killed the dog and why is his father keeping secrets from him?
Christopher is said to be on the autism spectrum but we are never told what he exactly has. And Haddon has said that he doesn’t consider himself to be an expert on autism. That may be why he didn’t go into detail about it. But the interesting thing is that this book is one of the best and most authentic books about autism and how people who have autism experience the world around them.
As some people may have guessed from the title, the book was inspired by Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story The Adventure of Silver Blaze. The novel went on to win a bunch of awards including Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Book and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.
Reading this novel is a different experience from reading any other novel out there. The narration is brilliant and works on so many levels. If anything, it makes the mystery of a dog’s disappearance much more interesting which is why I recommend it to avid readers.