The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon Final Rating: 3.5 stars

Do I have a mild case of Asperger's?

Things I do that are like things that Christopher does:

(2) Rely on a pattern of events to determine whether today will be an okay day. Christopher likes to count cars in the morning, I see if I can catch the subway as soon as I get into the station. If I can't, it's definitely not a good start to a potentially perfect day.

(3) Tune people out.

(5) Verbally analyze jokes that I don’t understand to the point that the joke is Just Not Funny Anymore, Please Stop.

(7) Wanting to be an astronaut as a kid because astronomy and physics made sense.

(11) Being such a huge believer in routine and order that if a bottle of water is misplaced on the kitchen counter or the TV stand is slightly awry, I feel disconcerted and uncomfortable until it is put away or straightened.

(13) Prime numbers are the coolest.

The similarities between Christopher's and my way of thinking makes me wonder if this is really how people with Asperger's think and reason. Did [a:Mark Haddon|1050|Mark Haddon|] adopt this familiar thinking pattern to make this book accessible to the readers? Or was it that the author couldn't help but write a novel this way since he doesn't have the syndrome either?

I was surprised to read this book from the perspective of a boy with Asperger’s. The little diagrams that Christopher uses to explain the logic games he plays were a refreshing element to the disjointed prose. However, after the initial novelty of the prose waned, I found it harder and harder to finish the book. At first, I found Christopher's lack of empathy interesting, but then I noticed the same pattern emerging again and again:

a. Parent says to not doing something.
b. Christopher does it anyway.
c. Parent gets angry.
d. Christopher gets angry.
e. Christopher’s anger manifests in black outs.
f. A lot of bad feeling results from the Parent.
g. Christopher plays with his Swiss knife.

It got old pretty quick.

A majority of the book focuses on the emotional trauma of the people around him. However, toward the end, when Christopher suffers emotionally from something to the point where it physically affects him, I found myself so numb that I couldn’t properly appreciate with what Christopher is trying to express. Simply, I stopped caring when it mattered. Maybe this emotional state was what Mark Haddon was trying to achieve, but I didn’t feel any particular attachment to the book by the end.

Also, I did not like the cursing. I don't mind cursing in general, but so many people yelled and cursed at Christopher that it made me wonder whether Haddon was trying to raise awareness of Asperger’s Syndrome by making people look like jerks. Not cool.

Overall, a solid 3.5 stars for the novelty and the entertainment. It was very interesting and very eye opening to go through life from the perspective of a boy with Aspergers. A star off for the lag toward the second half, but ultimately I don’t regret picking up the book!