mystery novel

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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“When winter came, I decided to read.”- Anisa Kazemi

According to Mark Haddon himself, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003) is not based on Asperges nor any other specific disorder, “if anything it’s a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way.”

Which is an accurate way of putting it for it’s definitely not the same as another. Firstly, the chapters aren’t like usual chapters. Instead, the story progresses through prime numbers: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17 etc. Next,¬†Haddon challenges typical story conventions. His chapters are often too short, his sentences too lengthy and his prose/his protagonist, Christopher’s prose, too random. However; that is what I (and many others since he’s won loads of awards) consider so refreshing about it. Haddon’s mystery novel really does make you see in a new way.

Haddon achieves this by comparing most people’s thought processes¬†to that of Christopher’s: which is paying immaculate attention to detail and living in the moment. While most people would be thinking “I’m worried that I might have left the gas cooker on,” and “I wonder if Julie has given birth yet,” in a cow field, Christopher would be inspecting/admiring the different shades of grass and the contrast of the surrounding flowers, sky, animals and architecture against them. In other words, Haddon/Christopher examine the every-day and the mundane so closely and so objectively that they become extraordinary again – since we tend to overlook/ignore them in this busy busy day and age.

I laughed, I cringed, I empathised with the Christopher and I continued to think about him after the book had ended – all the good things. I totes recommend it and so does good ole Ian:

“A superb achievement. He is a wise and bleakly funny writer with rare gifts of empathy” -Ian McEwan, author of Atonement.

3.8/5