So, it’s that time again .. when I decide to write a “review” of a book I’ve just read. Just read means – read a couple of weeks (or even months) ago, but finally decided to write something. After a few weeks of yes-no-maybe, here I am.
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time. Interesting title. Very highly recommended by my friends. Plus there’s the word ‘DOG‘ in the title. There’s no reason I shouldn’t read this book. D-O-G!!!!
You had me at Dog. 😉
This is the story of Christopher, a teen with autism. What we know about him is that he lives with his father, and his mum is dead (or is she?). He’s comfortable around computers, does not understand people -humans- at all, loves dogs, likes to mark his days as ‘Good’, or ‘Quite Good’ and so on – this based on the number of cars of a particular colour. Attends school – probably a school for special needs children. Oh, and he doesn’t like anyone touching him. Classic signs.
So far, so good?
Then one night he finds his neighbour’s dog murdered. Stabbed with a garden fork. What happens next sets the wheels in motion.And that is the book.
A dog is dead. Murdered. And no one cares. So he decides to investigate the murder himself. With a little help from his teacher, he decides to write a story. A murder mystery. He starts maintaining a journal of sorts, with notes about his investigation.
So. Does he find out who killed the dog? Of course he does. Happy endings and all that?
We eventually find out who killed the dog, and also what *really* happened to Christopher’s mum (No. She’s not dead – and that’s spoiler #1. Kinda.).
Not going to write everything that’s in the book here. But all I’ll say is that it’s a bitter sweet ending. And I would definitely recommend this book.
I rated this 2/5 stars on GoodReads initially, but then updated it to 3 stars. This does not mean I didn’t like the book, or the story sucks or anything.
I just rated it that low because (and spoiler #2 coming up) during the course of his investigation, Christopher finds some letters addressed to him …… from his mum. His dad had kept them hidden. She’s not dead – and at this point I figured out he’ll want to meet her or at least write back. Then (spoiler #3 – and a big one) his father confesses. He killed the dog. Why? Aw, come on I don’t want this to be a spoiler fest. So basically these two were the turning points, and I lost interest. I know who killed the dog, and I know about his mum. So there’s no curiosity, there’s no mystery left anymore. It’s all about what happens now.
The book is written as if a teen (or an adult) with autism is writing it. It’s meant to be Christopher’s book about the mystery of the murdered dog, remember? Did I mention he is an absolute genius at maths, and prime numbers are what interest him? The chapters in this book are numbered 1, 3, 5 … Prime numbers.
What I really liked about this book is that it gives you an insight into the lives of families with a child who has autism. One needs superhuman patience to deal with them. Much respect for people who have family or those who work with special needs children.
The way the father cares for Christopher, and how he reacts to his questions, just numbed my brain. There were times when I wanted to scream ‘Shut up, Christopher. Don’t you get it? The dog is dead. The owner does not care. Drop it. And get on with your life’ Like I said – Superhuman patience.
Don’t let that low rating fool you. It’s a damn good book. Go and read it (if you haven’t already).
Have a great weekend!