Book: Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime
Author: Mark Haddon
Reviewed by: Anna Moye
Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime”, the book that won him both The Whitbread Book Award and The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize in 2003, introduces readers to a new perspective. That of a boy named Christopher Boone, who finds himself obsessed with solving the crime of who killed the neighbor’s dog.
The story opens with a brief introduction to Christopher’s character, and then a scene of him finding his neighbor, Mrs. Shears’ dead dog, Wellington. Through his narration, the reader establishes a clear relationship with the thought process of Christopher, and one can clearly comprehend everything going through his brain, as it is displayed in the form of his journal, sharing everything he finds, thinks, and feels as additional information is revealed. These thoughts allow the reader to have an insight to what means most to Christopher, which becomes what means most to the story, as it is truly his story.
An interesting characteristic of Christopher is his love for prime numbers, he says they are the stripped representation of life, they are what is left over when you take away all the patterns and repetition. The reference to prime numbers is made in subtlety as well, as the chapters’ numbers do not climb in standard cardinal order, but rather, they climb in order of prime numbers, (2, 3, 5, 7, 11…).
Haddon does an impressive job of displaying Christopher’s autism without making it the focus of the story, instead, the reader simply follows the boy who is trying to solve the town’s mystery. If you’re looking for a book to introduce you to a new perspective of life, simply dive into the world of Christopher Boone, where you will learn the meaning of counting red cars on the way to school, and you’ll avoid the color yellow at all costs.