The book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, was first published in 2003 by Mark Haddon, a British writer. It is a mystery novel and was first published in separate editions to cater for the needs of both adults and children simultaneously. The story depicts a fifteen year old boy, Christopher Boone who has a great mastery of mathematics but who finds people confusing. Despite having been warned by his father, Ed, against getting involved in the death of his neighbor’s dog, Christopher decides to investigate the matter. During this investigation, Christopher finds out that contrary to what his father had told him, his mother is not dead but resides in London. In addition, he discovers that the neighbor’s dog had been killed by his father and therefore loses his trust in him. He embarks on a journey to London in search of his mother but her fiancé is not welcoming so he returns to Swindon with his mother. The story ends with Christopher having passed his mathematics A-levels and believes he can be anything he wishes to be.
Christopher is the main character in the novel and has an inability of imagining the feelings and thoughts of other people. The characteristic is one of the most prevalent of autism disorders making him better in mathematics and science while performing poorly in social aspects. Indeed, Christopher is fast in misunderstanding his father and admits that he hates chatting because it is pointless. Another character in the book is Ed, Christopher’s father, who is depicted as a solitary being who has little friends and finds it hard dealing with emotions. Regardless of the frustrations of the family, Ed still takes care of Christopher and loves him despite not understanding his son’s behavior. For instance, he constantly prepares Christopher’s food based on his son’s rigid list of dislikes and likes. Christopher’s mother, Judy, is impatient but loving but fails to handle the harsh realities of her son’s conditions. In one instance, she failed to handle her son after he threw tantrums during a Christmas shopping.
Although the story takes part in Swindon, England, its setting is similar to modern day London. For instance, Christopher’s mother is quoted as reading a biography of Princess Diana thus depicting the setting. In addition, Christopher’s admission to having visited France before but only remembering the people speaking a different language can be interpreted as hating France, something that is common among Londoners. The book also uses the first person narration with Christopher being the narrator. By having the story told by the narrator, the readers have an opportunity to get into his brain. The impact of the book on the reader is such that it increases their understanding of autism related disorders. The narration of the book not only helps us to empathize with Christopher but also provides another view of the world. The book is also unique because it explores the theme of autism related disorders and the harsh realities that face their families.
One of the most dominant themes in the book is social disability manifested through autism related disorders. Indeed, the descriptions of Christopher in the text reflect those of people who have Asperger’s syndrome but which is not mentioned in the book. The novel perfectly explores the social disability that faces victims and families that are confronted with social disabilities. In addition, the theme of different versions of reality is explored in the text with Christopher viewing the world from a different angel from the one we use. Despite being an observer, the narrator cannot seem to explain the details in the observations that he makes. Still, the author studies the theme of isolation through the narrator. Christopher is quoted as having admitted to not liking to be around other people and actually hating chats and conversations. Despite his isolation, Christopher is highly attached to the small world that surrounds him.
Although The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one the most famous books by Mark Haddon, he is also known for other books. Born in 1962, his first book, Gilbert Gobstopper, was written in 1987. The author has immense expertise on the subject of children having published many books on the same field. The author employs an explicative style of writing whereby the narrator says what he means even when he is at fault. In addition, the author employs a detached tone thus capturing the different situations and voices of the characters. The nature of the book thus makes it perfectly readable as it communicates to every reader. In fact, the tone employed perfectly increases its readability through the ability to capture different situations and scenarios. The book is similar to Salinger’s book, The catcher in the Rye, in that they both communicate the theme of isolation through the first person narration. The book serves the purpose of educating the people on autism related disorders and the dangers that face victims of such disorders. In particular, the book aims to increased people’s understanding of the theme. It is thus intended for the general audience and especially people with autism related disorders to increase their self appreciation.
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