Date started: 5/25/17 Date finished: 5/29/17
For #2 of Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge: Read a debut novel
Every year there is always that one book. The type of book, everyone seems to rave about, but you didn’t read. Then the fact, you didn’t read the book haunts you in your sleep for years. No? Then, I guess it’s just me.
Well, anyway, that is exactly what happened with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. As excited I was about the book, I had zero idea what it was even about. Boy, was I surprised when I read the book, because it was the least likely story line I expected. This peculiar novel novels follow a 15 year old boy named Christopher John Francis Boone, who has a type of autism (that is never specified so I’m going to assume it covers a broad range). Christopher can relate well to animals, but has a problem understanding human emotions (which leads him into a couple of misadventures like getting arrested at one point). Like every good story in the making, the novel begins with a murder. In this case, the murder is that of Christopher’s neighbor Mrs. Shear’s dog Wellington. Wellington’s death propels Christopher to put on his Deerstalker hat, like his hero Sherlock Holmes, to solve the to case and write a mystery novel. As he investigates the murder, he discovers the killer and other mysteries concerning his family.
I found this book exciting in a the way it is different than many contemporary novels I’ve read. It stands out among the crowd with its numerical ordering (prime numbers), the plot (an autistic teenager solving a murder), and the characters (mainly how other characters interact with Christopher). In that way, I found the novel engaging and fresh in its content. Once I finished reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, I understand fully the reactions of the people who come in contact with Christopher. Actually, if this blog was more academic, I would go more into detail about the parallel between Christopher and Sherlock Holmes (but for now, alas, I have put academia away) and answer the question whether Christopher models his mannerisms and personality on him or not. *Hint, hint future academics.