Monday, March 14, 2011

The Curious Incident of Reading this Mark Haddon Novel

Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. London: Random House, 2004 (2003).

. In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, written by Mark Haddon in the first-person narrative voice of fifteen-year-old Christopher, who understands a great deal about tangible things, such as maths and candy shoelaces, and much less about the nuances of human behaviour and betrayal.

The book opens--intentionally, as Christopher tells us--with the excitement of a murdered neighbourhood dog. Although Christopher is at first suspected of having taken part in the slaughter, he is, in fact innocent, and soon resolves to solve the crime, in the style of the great Sherlock Holmes, whom Christopher very much admires. Haddon's skillful craftmanship allows the reader to understand the things that perplex Christopher the most, while the narrative voice flows on, uninterrupted and consistent. The story, of course, moves well beyond the initial plot points of the dog, lingering upon issues of education, trust, family, and love. All told, this is a remarkably crafted and thought-provoking book, and one I would highly recommend to others.

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