Having got through the last title in my ‘50 Novel’ reading list in double-quick time, my attention turns to Mark Haddon’s acclaimed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Winner of the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year and the 2004 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book, this is a book I’ve put on my reading list solely because of the endless recommendations I’ve seen for reading for it.
I’m sure many people have already read this novel, and going on majority consensus enjoyed it. But for those who haven’t read it, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a story set in Swindon, England, that centres on the crime-solving efforts of a teenager called Christopher, who sets out on a quest to solve the gruesome murder of a neighbour’s dog. However Christopher is no ordinary teenager. He suffers from mild autism, and this story, told in first-person narrative, is an account from Christopher’s own unique perspective.
From what I’ve heard of the book so far, the author is almost genius in his depiction of the main character and his condition. Peter Boxall in his 1001 ‘must reads’ is almost evangelical in his praising of Mark Haddon’s ability. He states that Haddon brings us ‘ a startling insight into Christopher’s world’ in a novel that’s “a dazzling portrayal of a boy living in a world offset from normailty”. Given my passion for sublime characterisation, you can maybe see why I’m really excited about reading this.