A short but sweet read, that is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
My first encounter with Mark Haddon‘s storytelling is surprising. Just when I though that this book, with a very looong title, would be a crime mystery it appears it is not.
Christopher John Francis Boone is the exceptionally intelligent young man who have written the book, the novel used first person perspective. The Curious Incident started with a crime, the gross murder of an ill-fated dog in the night time. The superbly gifted fifteen-year old accidentally discovered the ‘crime’ and it has made him curious about the things that surrounds him.
On the other hand, it is not as if Boone is playing a wise detective here, though according to him he’s doing a Sherlock Holmes-ish task as he goes after the dog’s murderer. Because the little man is not cognitively and emotionally normal,takes all things literally and cannot understand human emotions.
This would make the whole story a witty yet matter-of-fact experience with words.As he tries to discover who committed the crime, Boone’s young mind will then uncover secrets and turmoil about his own parents.
The fact that the content of the book is like a treasure that slowly unfolds while I continue digging makes this novel so special. I am used in predicting what would be the book’s content and even its ending. But with The Curious Incident, I was caught off guard, in a positive way.
I really thought that there is a bigger crime after the dog’s murder, but I am wrong. Because the rest of the book placed me in Boone’s place. A boy who is intellectually gifted by emotionally incapacitated. As I turn the pages, I have come to understand how he, as a boy with such condition, bravely face and make decisions on his own.
What I also love about this book is its wit. Boone, with his brain who knows every prime number up to 7,057, is indeed funny not because he meant to be hilarious but because he is just that. His dislike of yellow, his constant mind-boggling thoughts, and his insensitivity are witty and entertaining.
On the contrary, Mark Haddon was also able to give just the right amount of depth in this light-hearted story. The seriousness of the dilemma of a normal family was discussed with just the right amount. It is really impressive how Haddon balanced the light and humorous aspect of the book and its serious realistic premise. Surely, he is indeed a brilliant wordsmith.
PICKED UP WISE WORDS:
“Prime numbers are like life. They are very logical you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”
“People do a lot of talking without using any words.”
“You could still want something that is very unlikely to happen.”
“Loving someone is helping them when they get into trouble, and looking after them, and telling them the truth.”
Haddon ended the novel in a conclusive manner. This is indeed a good read from beginning to end.
A MUST period.