Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night Time (Mark Haddon)

In short: I found this to be a quick and enjoyable read (albeit with a YA edge).

I really liked how easy this was to read, even though it deals with some pretty serious themes. As a mum of 2, I was challenged by some of the emotions Christopher experienced as he learned about his family particularly relating to parental trust, but also those emotions he experiences as he ventures away from home during his adventure.

Perhaps rather embarrassingly I learned a lot about some complex (and some embarrassingly simple things I didn’t already know) mathematical concepts and logic and I looked forward to each reading session to see how Christopher was progressing through his journey.

Summary: 

Christopher, a 15-year-old budding mathematician applies his skills and logic in his own detective investigation to deduce who murdered his neighbour’s dog, Wellington. As he questions his neighbours to find out more, his succinct style of conversation and matter of fact discussions with these relative strangers, provide us with just a glimpse into the complexities of his mind.

His formulaic and literal interpretation of most things is suggestive a sensory processing disorder and I felt for how challenging these interactions must be for him. During his narrative, Christopher is presented with numerous challenges and forced to react to situations many of his peers would not even bat an eyelid at. In his own voice, he provides an amazing insight into some things we take for granted, showing us that not everything (or everyone for that matter) is as simple as it would seem. I felt his talents for mathematics led him to approach the world and his journey as if it was one giant mathematical problem to solve as he sought sanctuary in that familiar territory.

During his journey, Christopher uncovers more than he could have imagined about himself, his family and human nature itself.

Highlights: 

  • Exploring the world through the eyes of a teenager with sensory processing challenges.
  • Gaining an insight into a teenager’s view of a single parent relationship and how this is often completely in contract with parental views.
  • Learning some fairly cool mathematics equations!

Themes:

  • Autism/SPDs/Asbergers
  • Parents ‘knowing best’
  • Trust between parents and kids
  • Understanding the world as a giant mathematics problem to solve.