Mark Haddon is a writer, poet, and blogger. His best-known book is ‘The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night Time’. A lot of The’s if you ask me. He has won multiple awards for his book & why not. I bought this book in 2012 after much speculation. In my college days, I read in Femina magazine long time back about how SRK (Shah Rukh Khan) has read and praised the book. So, it stayed on my mind ever since. Hence, I got the book to satisfy my curiosity about why a dog’s death is so much curious to a 15-year-old boy. Curious enough that it changes his world upside down. Really?
Thus begins the story of Christopher John Francis Boone’s adventures for me. A 15-year-old with special behavior patterns, no understanding of human emotion spectrum and unfathomable love for maths. He dwells in patterns, logic, reasoning, questioning everything (hence the curiosity) & limited communication skills. For example here are few of my favorite lines which roves the same;
‘The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.’
‘…and I went into the garden and lay down and looked at the stars in the sky and made myself negligible.’
‘All the other children at my school are stupid. Except I’m not meant to call them stupid, even though this is what they are.’
See what I mean?
Title: The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night Time
Author: Mark Haddon
Publisher: The Vintage, 2003 (I own a copy of 2004 Edition)
My Rating: 5 Stars
Buy It Here: Amazon
This book is to be recommended to every book lover I meet. Although, my sister thought the kid ‘Christopher Boone’ is annoying as hell and gave up the book halfway. Next, I am giving my copy to my mother-in-law (who doesn’t have time). Funny as it may sound, there’s a Christopher Boone in each of us just that some of us know how to hide him better. The book is written from the perspective of a special 15-year-old kid who thinks himself a mathematician, he knows he is odd but still the way he writes himself is cool and tender.
What makes this story so special? The curiosity factor. It isn’t just Christopher that is curious here, you get to walk in his shoes. You get to feel what he feels and as he crisscrosses through his Sherlockian adventure you get to feel what he feels (which is very less). It is much speculated that Christopher has Autism but Mark Haddon denies so in his blog post. Which leaves me thinking that I know Christopher John Francis Boone. Yesterday I read this book for the 5th time. I love this book so much.
Why I love this book?
- Christopher. His individuality wins me over. Yes, he is socially ‘Difficult’, aren’t we all? We are just better at adapting to behaving in ways which don’t make us feel social outcast. However, for Christopher that is not even an option.
Christopher is who he is and he makes no efforts in hiding it either, simply because he doesn’t know how. Siobhan is his only mentor who can explain things to him in a proper manner for him to understand the world better. Siobhan’s patience brings us to the second point.
- Patience, it teaches you patience. If you are a voracious reader who jumps from one novel to another, this novel will be difficult, annoying and it will leave you feeling frustrated. Instead, try to understand Christopher put yourself in his shoes and then walk the walk.
- There’s a strange intimacy in not touching bodies but fanning out your fingers and let the other touch it. The difference in love. Father’s and mother’s way of loving Christopher, their own individual characters. Father’s frustration and sacrifices for his son, his way of admitting a crime before it is proven for the same love.
- Ideas are waiting around the corner of each episode of our lives, given that we see everyday life with different perspectives.
- Most amazing thing is Oprah never talked ’bout this book. Weird, ain’t it?
- Still not convinced? It’s a murder mystery set in real-time Britain and a 15-year-old is the Sherlockian detective. Plus, did you know? According to this detective, someone you know is more likely to kill you than someone who doesn’t know you.
- Wellington gets forked. Poor Wellington. Thanks for giving this story a baseline.
Mark Haddon provides a new take on simple everyday events. London underground makes as much sense to me as it does to Christopher Boone. As thrilling and adventurous as London underground is, it is still scary to me. A great thing about the novel is the place be it Swindon or London the description of the black skies, chimneys drag me back to the days I lived in London. Amazing.
Thanks for the masterpiece Mark Haddon, this book is a gift even after 15 years of its first publication.