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Customer Review

148 of 156 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incidently, the Most Wonderful Book I've Read!, 5 Feb. 2004
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Paperback)
This is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. He is fifteen and has Asperger’s, a form of Autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth and owns a pet rat called Toby. He hates the colours yellow and brown and hates being touched. He knows it’s going to be a good day if he passes red cars on his way to school on the bus. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey, which will turn his whole world upside down.
Haddon has created a wonderfully brilliant character. His depiction of Christopher’s world is deeply moving, very funny and utterly convincing. He shows a unique insight into the autistic mind of the unlikely teenage detective who stumbles on everyday normalities as obstacles which further leads him to unearthing secrets that shock and startle him into running away.
What drives Haddon’s tale, however, is his empathy for his protagonist: it might have been easy to make Christopher an amusing suburban hybrid of Forest Gump and Adrian Mole, but the author digs deeper, mining a deeper emotional truth with a rigorous sense of purpose, one expressly devoid of cheap homily. He also knows a damn good page-turner: the emotional beats here are resonant and well deserved, the key plot revelations affecting, and the payoff deeply satisfying.
Although a work of fiction, it is both an educational and vividly honest adaptation of the trails and hurdles that people like Christopher undergo on a daily basis and that most of us are unaware of. A lesson can surely be learned from reading this boy’s curiously different story.
Incidentally, if you are to read only one book in the next 12 months, let it be this one. It more than deserves the recent accolade of 'Top Dog' in both the Guardian and Whitbread Awards for best book. This gem is a must and is star quality in new fiction writing regardless of age and background.
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Initial post: 19 Apr 2011 21:02:59 BDT
I have a related condition to Asperger's Syndrome.

I only read the first couple of lines of the review.

At NO point in the book does the author say his narrator has any particular condition. He does mention attending a school for people with disabilities. The author is on record as regretting that there is mention of Asperger's related conditions in material from the publisher.

Nonetheless I found it a very powerful read and strongly recommend it to anyone with an open mind, who is prepared to consider issues from different perspectives.

Such 'hidden' disabilities last a lifetime although there is little public consideration of there impacts on adults. Many adults learn to adapt to the conditions as the narrator is beginning so to do and hence the book ends on a very optimistic note.

I am a former Criminal Justice Professional with a 30 year Career in the UK Penal system. There are very many people with hidden neurological disabilities in prison - that is the one place in society, where, no assessment is needed to become a resident, once a person has behaved in certain ways! Sadly treatment and support facilities are few anywhere in society for such adults.
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