Have you ever gone through life afraid that everyone you see and everyone you know is going to hurt you, that walking down the street and making eye contact with anyone could be the last time? Christopher Boone is a 15 year old Autistic boy who goes through this every single day. The Curious Incident of the dog in the Night-Time is the story about Christopher’s investigation into the everyday events that go on around him. This book is very intriguing as you find out the cruelness that surrounds Chris, yet, you see the good in people flourish.
Mark Haddon is a young British writer who grew up working with young children who had Asberger’s Syndrome. This acquired knowledge inspired him to write this novel specifically for adults. Haddon’s experience helps readers to directly identify and relate with Christopher on a more personal level. Most people have a very difficult time understanding the ticks and idiosyncrasies of autistic kids; Haddon easily describes how Chris doesn’t like being touched, so instead of hugging, Chris does a special hand move. To touch Chris you, “spread [your] fingers out in a fan so that [Chris] could touch [your] fingers”, and this simple action would mean as much as a hug to Chris (Haddon 191).
Haddon’s characters also seem relatable as Chris runs into trouble. Mrs. Alexander, the typical sweet and old neighbor, slips Chris the information about his mom. Regretting her decision immediately, she begins to ramble on and on about if he ever needs to talk she’ll be there, how she shouldn’t have said anything, and how he had to promise not to tell his dad she told him. Mrs. Alexander feels so bad that she says, “I’m sorry, Christopher, I really am . . . I’m a friend!” (Haddon 61). This shows true human emotion as she falls for the evil trap of spoiling a secret, then bounces back with regret and shame.
Lastly, Haddon’s plot is very compelling. He opens up the story with the descriptive and visual death of Wellington, “There was a garden fork sticking out of the dog” (Haddon 1). And if his descriptions didn’t draw in the reader, then they need to learn what a goo d book is! Then Haddon glides along the story with little sparks of excitement that settle down in the proceeding chapter. Then when you find out the biggest secret of all, you feel like you are right there in Chris’s room, reacting to the news as he would! Then after the climax more and more plot twist unfolds as you see al the secrets, lies, and human hope and emotion, come out through Chris and his Parents.
The Curious Incident of the dog in the Night-Time keeps you glued in through every page and doesn’t leave you unsatisfied, but wanting another book! Haddon’s expertise in writing paints a beautiful story and truly leaves you feeling a variety of emotions, not forgetting fulfilled! This book really is an excellent read that you won’t want to put down until the end!