The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is written by an author named Mark Haddon. I actually read this novel years ago but I loved it so much I read it again.

The second time around, I decided to google some information on Haddon. My findings gave me a deeper appreciation of his work. Haddon wrote his first book when he was 25. It was a children’s book, and he went on to write and illustrate a number of other children’s works. I see similarities between Haddon and someone like Hans Christian Andersen who also had an assortment of work from poetry to children’s tales.

Haddon also made a living painting and selling abstract art while living in the bottom floor studio of his home. And he’s published several collections of poetry. A novelist, a poet, a painter—Haddon’s work goes beyond a single genre. I’m intrigued by these same art forms and that drew me to his work.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

It’s apparent how Haddon’s talent for children’s literature and abstract thought contributed to the wonder of the storyline. The main character is an autistic 15-year-old boy named Christopher with a menagerie of quirks and aversions. He has a strong dislike of the color yellow, an affinity for animals and counting prime numbers, and of course, feels it is up to him to solve the murder of the neighbor’s dog, Wellington. But more than just being a murder mystery, Christopher goes on a journey to repair his relationship with his father and discovers the truth behind his mother’s death.

A little bit of Flowers For Algernon with some elements of Catcher in the Rye, I absolutely admired this book. The writing is snappy and precise. The character of Christopher is totally captivating. And I found myself erupting into laughter throughout the whole book. There’s one part where the teenage boy goes on a brief rant about the absurdity of metaphors. I laughed really hard the entire time because I couldn’t help but agree. Christopher expresses a blatant dislike or lack of understanding of human behavior so many times that the situations he finds himself in struck me as hysterical.

Lastly, Haddon injected the story with a whole collection of puzzles and charts that gave the reader tons of material to sit and study. Things that enriched the story. So if you fancy yourself a balanced yet funny and angsty adventure, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is for you. You’ll love it. It’s a fun one to return to time and time again.

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