Arts > Book review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Posted on October 26, 2017

Exposure’s autistic author, Max Ferreira reads about a vulnerable young person trying to solve a murder mystery
Usually I like to draw characters and write short stories about my experience with autism. Then I decided to read something relating to that topic, but with mystery, drama and facts called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The novel was written by author Mark Haddon in 2003, which tells the story of a 15-year-old boy from Swindon called Christopher Boone who has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.

Following his parents divorce, Christopher is now living with his dad. The story follows Christopher as he faces difficult life challenges on his own. It is during this time that Christopher becomes curious about the death of his neighbour’s dog Wellington, and decides to investigate it turning this into a murder mystery book.

Christopher started by speaking to his neighbours about anything suspicious they may have seen relating to the death of Wellington. Although he knew the dangers of talking to strangers, Christopher made an effort to try and find any clues from them.

During the course of his investigation, Christopher discovered a box of letters from his mum in his dad’s bedroom addressed to Christopher. He realises at this point that his dad has been lying to him about her.

Not longer after this, Christopher discovered who actually killed the dog. With his mystery solved, he embarked on a secret train journey to find his estranged mum, taking with him his pet rat Toby.

Despite his parents arguments over Christopher, he was driven back to Swindon by his mum to sit his Maths exam. Nevertheless Christopher managed to achieve the Maths result he was hoping for, and his relationship with his dad was slowly restored.

I found it very interesting to read the escapade of a young person on the Autism Spectrum Disorder

What I like about the book is how it explores Christopher’s autism, and how this affects his daily life and interactions with people. For instance, he doesn’t like being touched, he doesn’t eat or sleep properly, and gets overwhelmed in busy areas.

Apart from this, Christopher is very keen on Maths and Physics, he is doing his A-levels in school, because he wants to go to university and become a scientist. Also Christopher is always telling the truth, except a few white lies to his father during his investigation.

Like in the short film ‘The World Through Louis’ Eyes’, Christopher Boone is descriptive when he meets people. For example Siobhan, a supportive teacher at his school, has blonde hair and wears glasses, which are made from green plastic. Also, when a policeman asked Christopher how old he is at the beginning of the book, he said, “I am 15 years and 3 months and 2 days.”

Throughout Christopher’s journey, he narrates how overwhelming and challenging it can be for young autistic people when they try and experience something different in the real world, whether they’re travelling abroad or getting a haircut.

Even though the novel is an adult fiction, I found it very interesting to read the escapade of a young person on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I absolutely recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have autism as it can help them recognise the characteristics of someone with autism and learning difficulties.

If you want to buy a copy of the ‘The Cuirous Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’, it’s available on Amazon or read Tyler Lauletta’s review of the theatre adaptation of the book.

Max Ferreira
As well as finding employment, Max Ferreira is a creative author. A regular at Exposure his autism helps him develop special creative ideas. He has published a series of stories about his experience with autism available on Kindle.
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