Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time


You try to find your way in a crowd in a foreign country with only jumbled signposts to follow and directions, which you can only partially understand. For a person with Asperger syndrome ordinary situations can feel just like this.

The young narrator of this odd novel is an autistic child compelled to solve the mystery of the killing of a neighbour's dog. The book itself is his account of his attempt to do this.
But this is more than a simple mystery story. Indeed, the murder is solved early and easily. Instead, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a surprisingly effective journey through the world of a 15-year-old suffering from Asperger's syndrome who has never gone further than his school on his own. Here is a boy who turns to mathematics for comfort, who cannot eat foods if they are touching on his plate, and who judges the potential success of his day by the number of similarly coloured cars that pass him on the way to school. He lives in a small English town with his father, who still grieves over the death of his wife, though Christopher can only acknowledge, rather than feel, this loss.
People with aspergers syndrome try hard to be sociable and dislike human contact. However they still find ti difficult to understand social etiquette and non-verbal signals, including facial expressions.
At fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbour’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing. Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favourite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher’s mind.
The writing is simple and plain, but the...