Complex Peoples – a REview of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

Books that you study in school. They’re hits and they’re misses. And this one I decided to try, as it was the first book that didn’t get stale the more you studied it.

Christopher goes for a walk one night to find his neighbour’s dog dead. Against his father’s wishes not to get involved, this teen boy starts an investigation to work out who killed the dog and share this and his other thoughts in a book he decides to write. What makes his brain tick, how his brain operates different from other people, and what takes him on a journey someone like him would normally never attempt to do.

Christopher was the first portrayal of an autistic character I had come across. And I must say, upon reading this again I am uncertain of how well. It highlights a lot of the difficulties someone with autism may have, and while he does go out of his comfort zone to do good things it still focuses more on the struggles of autism than may be appropriate today. I wouldn’t know, as it is something I need to look into more. At least it’s no Sia movie.

The biggest point of interest within this novel is the writing style. It perfectly captures our main character, Christopher, and the way his mind works. That being said, in the short amount of time I read this, as I am a faster read than I was when I first read this, eventually the style became tiresome and predictable. Something I got bored of, which is weird. I wouldn’t call it sluggish to get through, but it had its moments where I didn’t want to read it or I wanted to take a breather just because of how it was written.

The other characters, the neurotypical I guess I should say, were equally complex in their own ways. The main ones to focus on here being Christopher’s family. Their motivations and actions were clear the further into the book you got, and the many other people who got tangled into it too became very interesting. This book’s conflict was all about the people, and I think with this book in particular few people realise that.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time gets a score of 4/5. Complex people make storytelling strong.

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