14 November 2008

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time begins with a murder but not the usual kind; the victim is a dog. Christopher, who lives across the street, decides he wants to find out who killed the dog but Christopher is not your average fifteen year old either. He is unable to read people's emotions, is easily overwhelmed by sensations and information, and does not like brown or yellow foods. He goes to a special school, too, where his instructor encourages him to write a book about his search for the person who killed the dog.

I tried to describe this book to someone who had never heard of it and the closest comparison I could make was that it read like one of those small British character-driven films. It doesn't necessarily go anywhere, it just puts the reader into the protagonist's shoes for a while.

Readers who are bored by math and physics may want to steer clear of this one as Christopher uses math to clear his head and as a result several chapters outline some famous and not-so-famous math problems. There is also some very strong language used in the book, so parents who worry about that may not want to offer this one to younger teens.

Cautions aside, Curious is a challenging, touching, and ultimately sweet book that is suitable not just for teens and young adults but also for grownups.