Fiction 21 Sep 2004 12:43

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

coverThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mark Haddon

Very, very entertaining book. One of the best I’ve read this year.

The plot is very simple, though. It’s a mystery novel in which our hero, Christopher, tries to find out who killed Wellington, his neighbour’s dog. The catch: Christopher is 15-year-old autist boy, and the novel is told in the first person as if written by him (one of his teachers encourages him to write, and what we read is the result).

What we get is a vision of the world through Christopher’s eyes, and it’s very different from the way most of us see it. It’s a world with little or no place for emotions, and where the meanings of the actions and gestures of other people are as mysterious as the death of the dog. Christopher very quickly gains our sympathy, as his quest takes him to very unexpected results.

As an aside, it is common knowledge that many technology geeks seem to have mild cases of autism (or Asperger’s disease). And it’s quite remarkable that some of the things Christopher thinks and/or says would not seem out of place if they came from some people I know (myself included). Thus, this is a good book for IT managers who have to deal with us geeks.

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