Wednesday, June 27, 2007

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

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a very interesting and quick read. It is about an adolescent boy with autism that discovers a dog murdered in his neighbor's yard. He decides to investigate this murder, and we are taken on a very intriguing ride!

Though it is a quick read, I do believe that it was initially difficult to get used to the way it was written. The author writes from the perspective of the autistic boy. Because of this, the book tends to be a bit choppy -- very representative of what a child with autism may be experiencing him/herself. I did get used to the writing very quickly, and appreciated reading a very different perspective from my own. The author has had experience working with individuals with autism; however, my one concern is how someone without this disorder could possibly realistically write from an autistic perspective. We (meaning those of us without autism) could not possibly accurately know the thoughts of an adolescent of autism. With that said, I do also believe that Mr. Haddon probably does have a good idea and did do a pretty decent job considering (he has had experience working with this population). After all, this is a very long-standing argument in the mental health field (i.e., how can we effectively help those if we have not personally experienced the same things, such as in the case of addictions?). Very controversial, but I do believe that with empathy, a person can at least try and sometimes be successful.

Moving on back to the story . . . The story of the dog opens up a whole other can of worms that I felt was predictable, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the young boy. And, even by the end, I was feeling terribly sorry for the father. A very difficult situation all around! I kept thinking . . . if I was in this father's shoes, would I have done anything differently? Probably . . . but I also think the father probably felt the same way. After all, hindsight is 20/20!

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book! I appreciated that it helps the reader to step inside the mind of not just an adolescent boy (which can be scary in and of itself!), but I also appreciated that the popularity of the book is helping the many readers out there possibly learn more about autism and how we can better understand those affected by it. This whole experience has actually motivated me to read some nonfiction books written by individuals with autism. I will be sure to keep you posted on what I think of these!

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1 comment:

  1. So, I didn't read this post because the same day I purchased The Blind Assassin, I purchased this book too! I'll let you know how I like it!


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