The Curious Incident

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon.  Doubleday, 2003.

This easy-to-read engaging novel will help most readers deepen their empathy for people who are “different.” Told in the first person by Christopher, a teenaged autistic boy, we come to live inside his head and understand a little of what it would be like to view the world as confusing and overstimulating, people as untrustworthy, and advanced math as a refuge inside his mind against the discomfort of everyday life. We also view at close range the considerable difficulties that parents have in raising these kids who do not want to be touched, who have intense inexplicable preferences (e.g. Christopher hates anything that is yellow or brown), and whose behavior in public may include screaming, groaning and possibly wetting themselves.

By portraying Christopher sympathetically, and showing the boy’s amazing abilities in math and science, the author advances the cause of handicapped people everywhere.

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