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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Published by Jonathan Cape, Random House, 2003

This book is very well worth reading for the insight it gives into the mind of an autistic teenager, Christopher Boone. The book jacket describes it as a very funny book. I didn’t find it rib-ticklingly funny – to my mind it was bitter-sweet and poignant, with occasional comic episodes. It is an easy book to read, as it is the story of how Christopher sets out to solve the mystery of why his neighbour’s dog was killed.

The author, in telling the story of Christopher’s quest, presents us with the fractured terrifying world occupied by those who have Asperger’s. Sufferers of this form of Autism are unable to relate to people, cannot bear being touched and find emotions and feelings are totally alien to them. Mark Haddon manages to bring us into this world, where the behaviour of parents, neighbours, policemen are completely incomprehensible and Christopher struggles to understand what is happening round him.

‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night–Time’ is a book that should appeal to children as well as adults as it is written in an easy open style. I’m giving it to my teenage son so he can appreciate that books nominated for the Man Booker Prize are accessible and capable of being enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Reviewed by a Clare County Library staff member