This week’s book recommendation is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. This book surprised me to say the least. Written in 2003, the story follows a fifteen-year-old boy named Christopher John Francis Boone. Christopher is a boy who sees the world quite differently than many of us do, and though his condition is not specified, it is often considered (by readers) to mirror many behaviors of Asperger’s syndrome. When I first read the book, I thought it was an excellent insight into that world. Haddon himself did declare back in 2009 that the book is not about Asperger’s but is about being different. About seeing the world in a logical but somewhat tilted view. In this he succeeds. It doesn’t really matter what you read into at first. What you take away from it is what is most surprising.
It is relatively a short, quick read for being 226 pages. The inciting incident is the “curious incident” that upends Christopher’s world (though most of us would shrug it off). A journey follows that allows us to ride along inside the mind that doesn’t grasp social concepts but can do extraordinary things. The book was turned into a play in 2012.
This book first came to my attention through a gift. Not of the book itself, but through a bookmark given to my by my girlfriend (now fiancee, soon to be wife). The bookmark listed 50 books to read before you die. The Lord of the Rings was the first book listed so of course I took the remaining 49 books into serious consideration. This book was one of them. I then came across the book in a bookstore a few months later and bought it. A week or so later and I had read it all the way through. It was compelling, entertaining, quirky, sad, and eye-opening to anyone who has never been around anyone who thinks the way Christopher does in this book.
You know I hate to give anything away (if you didn’t, you know now), so I’ll just leave you with this: I’m glad I read this book because I think it gave me a better understanding to the thought processes of someone quite different from myself, which I think not only allows me to understand that person a little better but opens my own mind and makes me think about my own view of the world. It can differ greatly than anyone else’s while both interpretations are correct. It prompted me to reconsider how this chaotic world of ours is taken in by each person and made me appreciate those differences. I hope you experience something similar, though of course it will be through your eyes.