The Curiuous Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
By Mark Haddon
In the book by The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the reader is immediately immersed into the life of a boy with an evident neurological disorder. I have to say, that as I started reading this book, I felt that the young man in this story was indeed suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome. There is evidence within this novel that supports the reader drawing this conclusion however after reading the book, in researching this novel, the author never intended to name this disorder. Nowhere within this novel does the author refer to this young man’s symptoms as Asperger’s Syndrome; however it is strongly implied.
Christopher, who is the protagonist, comes across his neighbor’s dog with a pitchfork sticking out of it. Since his disorder shows signs that are in fact so close to that of a person with Asperger’s Syndrome, he seems completely unaffected by what he has seen. His reaction is not what mine would be and when a policeman happens upon the scene and Christopher shows absolutely no sympathy. The police feel he is the primary suspect and arrests him. This case leads Christopher on the hunt for the actual dog killer. Through this, he finds notes that his dad has stashed away; a secret that rocks him and sends him on a spiral that leaves the reader on the edge of their seats. He ill equipped to understand his limitations but this book is both endearing and heart wrenching. It gives a face to those that live with incapacities that can alter their life but within this book; there is strong message of hope.
I loved this novel and consider it on the upper echelon of my all time favorites. I was exposed to more information regarding Asperger’s or really any neurological disorders similar to that than any textbook I could have read. This book has become a Tony Award winning play and I was excited that shortly after I read it, the play came to my area. The stage itself is transformed to look like a big box, which is appropriate since that is the way this disorder is defined. I highly recommend this book! Read the book first and then go see the play in that order. Your life will be richer because of it.