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Customer Review

on 18 January 2013
I read this book to satisfy my curiosity since the title always seems to come up on reading lists, and judging by the number of positive reviews it is clearly very popular and very well regarded.

Not a great deal actually happens in this book, but the true genius lies in how Haddon presents Christopher's personality, his quirks, and his approach to everyday situations which you and I probably wouldn't give pause to think about. When you do actually stop to think about these situations, you can see where Christopher is coming from with a lot of things.

Haddon has taken a fairly mundane episode and transformed it into a personal battle which poses significant challenges for a young lad with Asperger's Syndrome. The story is delivered in the first person in a very matter of fact way by Christoper, the protagonist. There are a lot of things that you just have to go with - the colour yellow is bad, red is good, physical contact is out of the question, new places and crowds are terrifying. Despite those things, Christopher endeared himself to me and I can see how he would be both lovable, but also frustrating as hell!

If you don't try to see each situation from Christopher's shoes, the subtlety of this book will go over your head and you'll not enjoy it. Equally, if you've never met anyone with Asperger's, you might not see the true merit of The Curious Incident but I would still encourage you to try.

I very much like that Christopher wasn't portrayed as a victim, in fact he overcomes a lot of his personal nightmares so I think he was rather brave. I also liked the way the author tried to capture and explain some of Christopher's idiosyncrasies such as moaning/groaning to block things out, listening to white noise on the radio, closing eyes / covering ears, hiding when it all becomes a bit much.

Overall, I liked the book. Think about what you're reading and take time to see the story from Christopher's point of view, don't just take it at face value. If you do those things, you'll like it too. In some regards, The Curious Incident is one of the most thought-provoking books I've read.

I recently read another book called 600 Hours Of Edward by Craig Lancaster which you might also want to read. The premise is similar, but oriented around an adult as opposed to a teenager. It has also received quite high ratings, though not as many of them.
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