Christopher loves math, animals, and he can’t stand the color yellow. He feels things deeply but has trouble expressing himself. He goes to school, he watches nature videos, and he has autism. His autism makes it difficult for him to understand other peoples’ thoughts, emotions, and actions. But when he leaves his house one morning to find his neighbor’s dog dead in her yard, he decides to find out what happened.
Christopher is a fan of Sherlock Holmes stories, so Shioban from school suggests that he write his investigation down. So Christopher starts to write a book. Because he sees the world differently than most, his book is different than most books. For one thing, the chapters are all prime numbers. They start out with 2 and 3 and then start skipping—5, 7, 11, 13, 17, etc—which I thought was pretty clever of Christopher. And it is filled with details from his life that he can describe in detail but not necessarily understand. As he talks about situations that he observed, the reader is drawn into an understanding of Christopher’s life that he is just not able to reach.
As Christopher follows the clues and continues to write his book, he discovers secrets that are far bigger than anything he could have guessed and ends up on a physical and emotional journey that changes his life forever.
Mark Haddon’s inspired The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is an unexpected mystery that brings together family struggles with genuine humanity. Written in first person, using an autistic teenager as a narrator, offers a sort of outsider’s view of a marriage and the individuals that come together to create a family. With lots of unexpected surprises and brutal honesty, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a truly unique novel with a heart-warming young man at the center.
I listened to this on audio, and Jeff Woodman’s narration was beautiful and heartfelt, drawing me in to this young man’s life and his mind from the first chapter. I highly recommend this experience with this novel.