Monday, January 07, 2013

Reflections: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

I finally got around to read this popular book.Christopher is an autistic young man who narrates and records his experiences following the killing of his neighbor’s dog. Deciding to get to the bottom of the mystery of the killing, Christopher applies all the detective skills he has learned and assimilated from Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. But little does he know that the detective game he doggedly pursues would lead him to secrets and revelations that are too complex for him to understand and cope with. Christopher’s story is raw, emotional (for the reader), and helplessly real. This is a fast-paced, incisive book that draws an honest picture of a family that strains to keep it together.

The narration of the book is what gets you, the reader. Although I’m not an expert on autism, drawing from my limited knowledge/experience, I felt that the book was convincingly written in the voice of an autistic boy. Christopher’s narrations lack emotion because he struggles to understand emotions. However, the raw sentences trigger so much emotion in the reader. Just with sparse clinical descriptions of the other characters, you get to intimately understand the other characters. Readers would find themselves alternating between empathizing and being frustrated with all the characters, because the story is a realistic slice of the struggles a family goes through as they do their best to raise a child with developmental challenges. It’s just a difficult situation all around. Everybody goes through their own personal battles, and it’s not easy to untie all the complexities and present a nifty solution. It is a painfully continuous process of coping. The story is as honest as it can be.

It is a quick read that will have you immersed in the intelligent and honest writing all the way till the end. The nice thing about the book is it indirectly presents the unbiased perspectives of all the characters concerned. Within the short span of the book, you will be exasperated, overwhelmed, and touched by Christopher’s journey. 

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