The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

June 20, 2004 at 12:00 am | Posted in 4 stars, Book Reviews | Leave a comment

It’s an old truism that there are no new stories, but once in a while a book comes along that tells a story in a new way. Mark Haddon has managed to write one of those books with Curious Incident, a detective story where the main character is a 15 year old autistic savant. The first person narrative plunges the reader into the main character’s alien way of thinking and does so extremely convincingly. The only problem, and it is slight, I had with it was I didn’t buy the character’s claims of an eidectic memory, but I can accept he thinks he has one, even if he doesn’t really. The rest of his strange mentality I can accept, especially given Haddon has apparently worked with autistic childron. In all my science fiction reading I’m not sure I’ve encountered a more alien character. Despite his disability the main character retains a certain charm that keeps the reader from getting too put off. It is a fantastic book. Strongly recommended.

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