Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-time (Novel)

Dogs. Mysteries. Prime Numbers. Red Cars. The Truth. Yellow Food. Math. Trains. Trust. Sherlock Holmes. Rhetorical Questions. Strangers. Family. 

A student I have been tutoring in English introduced me to The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. Her son said that it was sold in Germany as a good book for people learning English. What a delightful discovery! The novel is funny and touching. It is narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic (Asperger’s Syndrome ?) boy, who goes on numerous digressions. In the end, it is also a book about parents, who though flawed at times, do the best they can. This British novel won the 2003 Whitbread book of the Year.

Briefly, Christopher lives alone with his father. One day Christopher discovers his neighbor’s dog impaled with a garden fork and decides to emulate his hero Sherlock Holmes in order to find the murderer. As he does his investigation, he discovers that there is a bigger mystery, one involving his family.

I loved this book and plan to read more by Haddon. It had me laughing aloud, as well as looking at the world in a different way. Christopher is a likeable character that I wanted to succeed. The ending troubled me a bit, but perhaps I am looking at it too much from a real-world perspective.

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