The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I absolutely loved this book. I don’t give 5-stars very often, but I really can’t think of anything wrong with this book. It was so silly, and tender, and poignant, and sad, and…adjective overload. I can’t say enough about the amazingness of this book. I recommend to pretty much everyone. It did have some bad language, but I’ve seen worse. I’m not sure why it’s not YA, since the protagonist is 15 and the only thing inappropriate is the language. I’ve read YA that’s a lot more disturbing as far as subject matter and had just as much profanity. I would not call this book a mystery, but it did have moments of discovery that surprised me, which I enjoyed very much.
The characters in this book were so amazing and well-done. I loved Christopher and as he went through his struggles, he took me along, explaining things along the way that I’d never even realize I never think about. Haddon does as great job of imagining the mind of a person with Asperger’s syndrome. I liked all his lists, and how he explained things in such a delightful, childlike way even though it was usually something very complicated and scientific.
I felt a lot of sympathy for the father (and mother, although she was only a minor character). He had an anger management problem, but I still felt for him and cried when he was trying to make it up to Christopher. I know a little bit about the difficulties of trying to communicate with people on the autism spectrum, and I have infinite respect for parents who face those struggles every day. So although the father was sometimes brutally awful, the author did a wonderful job of making him sympathetic at the same time. I found myself tearing up a few times, both over the sweetness between the father and son and the moments of anguish.
Mark Haddon has created a wonderful book that I can only hope will be widely read for years to come. The way he creates balanced characters with frustrations, fears, sadness, and love that you can feel as you read is truly rare and wonderful. A heartbreaking, hilarious, and complicated work with wide appeal that is well worth reading or listening to. It’s one of those rare books that, when I got to the end, I immediately had the urge to start over at the beginning and reread.
In summary: I LOVE THIS BOOK!
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