Title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Author: Mark Haddon
Page Count/Review Word Count: 272
I have no choice about whether to give this a high mark or not, because it’s my girlfriend’s favourite book. Still, she has good taste and so even without the emotional blackmail, Haddon would score high – especially here, in his masterpiece, the winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year and one of the most influential books that either of us read in our adolescence.
Haddon’s work is almost always entirely about the characters, and it’s no different here – in fact, protagonist and narrator Christopher Boone is a fifteen-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome, and the way in which the story is told means it’s always all about the character, and even the events that shape the novel are seen from his point of view.
That makes it an incredibly powerful and emotional book, and a testament to the fact that we have some real artistic geniuses still writing and working today. Most people seem to think that Haddon has never recaptured the brilliance that he showed in this novel, but I think his entire canon is pretty strong, even if this is perhaps the strongest.
And there’s a special something for fans of the Sherlock Holmes series, like me – Boone is a fan of his, and the title of the novel actually comes from the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There’s a mystery here too, and while it might not be worthy of Holmes, Boone is a satisfactory replacement.