By Mark Haddon
Rating: 5/5 Stairs
Wow. I honestly cannot find the words to tell you how much I loved this book. What a great way to start 2018.
Since finishing, I’ve found that many of my friends have not only heard of Curious Incident, but they’ve also read it. This surprised me, as it was a random find for me on a sale table at the bookstore.
I usually give my own summary, but really the back of this book is pretty accurate:
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.
This tale is told from 15-year-old Christopher’s perspective, as he begins to write a book about his investigation into Wellington’s death and his discoveries. As he investigates, the narrative jumps around a lot, giving us insight into Christopher’s thinking processes and his home life. Topics range from observations (prime numbers, timetables) to personal (his daily life, his mother’s death) along with some math and probability problems in between.
I won’t say much more because it will venture into spoiler territory, and we all know that I don’t like to go there.
What I loved most about this book is the author’s voice. I felt like I was reading a book written by Christopher. It is just so well written and engaging. As the reader, I saw things from Christopher’s perspective: a teenager who excels at math, but has difficulty interacting with people. Someone who relies on schedules, truths, and rules — and what happens when he is brave enough to do something that goes against his norm. (My guess is he has a form of autism, but the author never reveals this, and I am by no means qualified to give a diagnosis.)
This book feels genuine, funny, and real. It is engaging and pulled me in from the first page. Christopher’s logic touches on many truths in life, and the story touched my heart. I have recommended this to many friends in the last week, and it turns out I am super late to the Curious Incident party. If you’re like me and didn’t know about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time — don’t miss this one. It’s a must read.
I should note that this last quote I picked for this review is actually the last sentence of the book. This is my favorite quote from the book, BUT it contains major spoilers. I omitted eighteen words to keep it spoiler-free, thus the […].