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View Full Version : The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time...has anyone read it?


spiceboy
Mar 7th, 2005, 10:37 PM
:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

I loved it, and I felt the author did an excellent job of portraying the child's mindset. It's so funny, weird and moving all at the same time. I reccomend it to everyone.

I was hooked to this book the moment I started reading it. Within three hours, I was at the end of the last page. It was so touching. Told through the eyes of a boy who suffers from autism, the book captured our failings as humans, the strength of faith, the innocence of childhood, the things we take for granted in our lives, the hopes we cling to, the dreams we want to realize and the love we aspire for in our lives.

Intriguing as it may sound; I was fascinating by the unusual chapter numbering, the use of diagrams, statistics and the use of a first person narrator. It was clever and achieved its desired result of stirring curiosity and eventually keeping the reader hooked. It is a very creative style of writing. In fact, it is a unique reading experience.

That's what the book talks about :)

Christopher is a fifteen-year-old, mildly autistic boy who lives with his father in Swindon, a small town about a hundred miles outside London. His mother has passed away several years ago of cancer, so it's just Christopher and his father. During the days, Christopher attends a "special needs" school, where lessons include not only the three R's, but also tips on dealing with strangers and decoding facial expressions (Christopher can recognize happy and sad faces, but more complicated faces give him trouble). For a project, Christopher's teacher tells him to write a book about himself. Adding his own individual touches along the way (a math prodigy, the boy numbers his chapters not 1, 2, 3, but as prime numbers in ascending order), and peppering the text with illustrative tables and drawings, Christopher embarks on a detective story about Mrs. Shears's dog, stabbed to death in her yard with a garden fork.

Christopher's purpose in writing his book is to emulate his hero, Sherlock Holmes (whose logical mind he greatly admires), and solve the case. But his investigations unearth more about the relationships between his family and his neighbors than about the identity of the dog's killer. Unable to decode sarcasm, jokes, or figures of speech (he calls them all "lies," since they aren't the truth), Christopher faithfully notes down his conversations and observations; though the reader, able to read between the lines, will guess the truth fairly quickly, Christopher's inability to understand social cues makes his struggle for answers all the more affecting.

Constantly bewildered by the (to him) incomprehensible behavior of those around him, Christopher resembles nothing so much as a human plunked down on a distant planet, trying desperately to figure out how to interpret the language and behavior of an alien species. And, in a way, many of Christopher's conclusions and actions make logical sense; but because he lacks a normal person's ability to make intuitive connections or understand the unspoken, Christopher has to rely on the imperfect set of rules he's learned about human behavior. Which is not to say Christopher can't also be infuriating, with his startling rigidity and resistance to change; he's prone to loss of bladder control and groaning fits when confused or scared by his surroundings - which is rather often. Nevertheless, he's deeply sympathetic and intensely believable, even if (like me) you've never met an autistic person before.

DelMonte
Mar 7th, 2005, 11:01 PM
I have and also liked it very much. It's quite a unique narrative voice, isn't it? I had bought the book for my young cousin but ended up keeping it for myself.

Kuilli
Mar 7th, 2005, 11:10 PM
Great book. I liked it a lot. :D

Joana
Mar 7th, 2005, 11:13 PM
I read it and it was a great, but also very painful experience. I know all too well what autism is. :sad:

apoet29
Mar 7th, 2005, 11:37 PM
I read it and it was a great, but also very painful experience. I know all too well what autism is. :sad:

I haven't read the book, but I have heard about it. I also know how painful autism is since my brother is severely autistic. :sad:

Joana
Mar 7th, 2005, 11:39 PM
I haven't read the book, but I have heard about it. I also know how painful autism is since my brother is severely autistic. :sad:

So is my older sister. And still, after 22 years I have trouble speaking about it without breaking into tears. :sad:

Gallofa
Mar 7th, 2005, 11:48 PM
Geez, spiceboy... did you eat a thesaurus for breakfast? ;)

I liked it, but not quite as much as you did. I think it was a good portrait of how a "normal" person imagines the mental processes of an autistic kid, but not near as awe inspiring as you found it!

It does offer an original and maybe unique point of view, but I would not consider it high calibre literature. Just entertaining. Of course, others may draw life-altering conclusions from it, but to explain that, I would look at the reader rather than the book.

I would also recommed it, but to experience the depth of feeling spiceboy talks about I think I would recommend something along the lines of "Anna Karenina".

L.J.
Mar 8th, 2005, 12:45 AM
As a literature student, I thought it was great! And as Gallofa says, I highly recommend 'Anna Karenina' also :)

rightous
Mar 8th, 2005, 12:47 AM
I am 3/4 of the way through it is a brilliant book, although its very sad. And Christopher rocks, the author has done an amazing job

spiceboy
Mar 8th, 2005, 05:42 PM
Hi Gallofa :wavey:

I was left impressed by this book more in a 'feeling' sense than 'great literature' (although the book is very well written) and that's what I want from a book, some literature that estimulates my feelings rather than my intelligence...I've got my job for that :p

And this book (and of course young Christopher) really touched me :angel: