Throwback Thursday is a book meme created by Renee (itsbooktalk) as a way to share your old favourites and reminisce about why you loved them so much.
This week I’ve chosen The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. Usually I avoid books, films, TV shows, etc. that contain the deaths of animals (I’m a super-sensitive animal lover), but this book was too intriguing to pass up.
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.
Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.
Why I love this book
Autism is something that has fascinated me since I learned about it in college. This book was my first insight into what living with Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of autism) is like and now that I’ve since learned so much more, I am in awe of how well Mark Haddon has captured it. From experience, I know that no two people with Asperger’s are the same, but Christopher’s experience is something I believe can help people who want to understand the syndrome a bit more, even if they themselves or their loved ones don’t display half of Christopher’s traits. It also explores real challenges parents can experience with an autistic child through Christopher’s separated parents.
I cannot recommend this book enough, even if autism isn’t present in your family or you’re not looking to gain more knowledge of the disorder, it’s an enjoyable read. After all, who doesn’t want to catch a dog killer?