Our book club met on Sunday to discuss The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by Mark Haddon. What was interesting about this book is that it is told from the perspective of an autistic 15 year old boy. Having taught a few autistic students, I found the way his mind worked very interesting. It was written the way that he thought. There were diagrams, equations, scientific explanations, and of course strange opinions and thoughts about everyday things.
For example, he wouldn’t eat anything yellow or brown. Think about that for a minute. Corn, bananas…out. Ground beef (a staple in this house), out. He didn’t like to be touched, so his parents never got to hug him. He wouldn’t talk to strangers and often yelled or screamed at them. He did really like animals, and can feel an affection for them that he isn’t able to feel for the humans in his life. This is where the dog came in.
His neighbor had a black standard poodle. He found it dead in her back yard in the middle of the night (it soothed him to walk around at night and look at stars). Someone had stabbed it with a garden fork. Of course, as he is hugging the poor dead thing the neighbor comes out and sees him. Here is where the drama starts…(this is a very busy neighborhood at night, it makes me wonder if I’d see some goings-on if I sat up and watched mine at night…hmmm.)
What was great about this book is that the mystery of who killed the dog is solved about halfway through, and yet another twist occurs that keeps you reading for the next hundred pages or so. It was a well thought out plot line. An unconventional mystery novel. I enjoyed it.