Tuesday, August 22, 2006
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, begins as a "murder" mystery, the murder of a dog and the attempt of a boy to find the murderer. However, the book is not at all a murder mystery, or even a mystery. This wonderful little book is about how autistic people think. The book is narrated by a 15 year old autistic boy, and one quickly realizes that the book is not about an incident, any incident, but about the way an autistic boy copes with life, and about how his parents cope with having an autistic child. This book is fascinating. It is written in a very simple language and style as it takes the reader through the thinking processes of an autistic child, and the terrible difficulties that his parents face in coping with him and taking care of him. But is it an accurate reflection of the thinking of an autistic child? That question was answered by the Amazon reviewer Autistic Moggy Mania, who describes herself as "happily autistic in Northern California". She wrote: "Mark Haddon absolutely "got it right" in this book. From descriptions of how overwhelming the man-made world is for us on a sensory level, to frustration with a society that expects us to learn how to recognize neurotypical facial expressions based on simple drawings -- I'm really impressed, everything really does reflect how many of us experience life." (Her complete review is well worth reading on the Amazon link above.) I found the book fascinating, and I highly recommend it.