Book review: ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ by Mark Haddon

By LARRY BALLWAHN | Wilton

One of the fringe benefits of watching the PBS series “Great American Reads” is learning about a book that you just must read. I had never heard of Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” Christopher John Francis Boone is an autistic youth attending a school for special needs in Swindon, England. While Christopher has many of the social behaviors typical of autism, he is gifted in math and science. He works quadratic equations in his head and maps his time and life there, too. He’s scheduled to test for A-level advanced maths this year and expects to get an A. The unexpected is the enemy: new places, people, experiences.

Christopher often goes out in the nighttime. There are few if any people out then, and he considers the nighttime sky a friend. He stops in a neighbor’s yard to visit Wellington, the neighbor’s large poodle. Talk about unexpected: The poodle has been stabbed to death with a garden fork. A series of unfortunate events lands Christopher in jail. After his father bails him out, he decides to solve the mystery of who killed Wellington. His father tells him to stay out of other people’s business. “Other people’s business” is a concept that is too broad for Christopher.

It should be noted that Christopher is very widely read, and there are literary references throughout the story. His ideas about investigations are based on his reading of Sherlock Holmes. “The Curious Incident” also features many examples of his mathematical thinking. You don’t have to understand them; I didn’t.

It turns out that a the “curious incident” is not even the biggest mystery in the story. For instance, Christopher’s father has told him that his mother is dead. Yet much of the book is about Christopher’s traumatic trip to London to live with his mother. Traveling is full of the “unexpected” for an autistic person. It should be noted that there are several types of autism.

Teachers and police officers especially will want to read “The Curious Incident” if they haven’t already. More and more these professionals deal with those who have various mental health issues. They will benefit from the book’s insight. And the story is interesting, too.

Comments are closed.

  • Kendall Lions’ Fundfest set for Saturday

    11 hours ago
    by

    The Kendall Lions Club’s major fundraising event for the year is its annual Fundfest. Saturday, March 23, is the date for this year’s event and will feature a live auction, lots of silent-auction baskets, raffles, food and beverages.


    Brookwood cooking demo set for Monday, March 25

    11 hours ago
    by

    Viterbo dietetic students Brittani Williams and NatalieSchmit will host a cooking demonstration from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 25, in the Brookwood High School cafeteria.


    Headricks enter not-guilty pleas

    March 19th, 2019
    by

    Travis and Amy Headrick entered pleas of not guilty in Monroe County Circuit Court on Wednesday to nine counts, including three counts of second-degree recklessly endangering a child, three counts of neglecting a child and causing emotional damage, and two counts of false imprisonment and child abuse with the intention to cause harm.


    Rural Kendall man apprehended on marijuana, paraphernalia charges

    March 19th, 2019
    by

    A rural Kendall man was arrested Tuesday in the town of Union after police found him in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office.


    Police identify skeletal remains found in Clifton

    March 19th, 2019
    by

    The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office announced last week that it had identified skeletal found Nov. 23, 2018, in the town of Clifton, near County Highway W.


  • Repair schedule announced for state trails

    March 16th, 2019
    by

    Superintendent Andrew Haffele of the Wildcat Mountain Work Unit recently released repair schedules for the Elroy-Sparta State Trail and the “400” State Trail.


    Book review: ‘Beautiful Mystery’ by Louise Penny

    March 14th, 2019
    by

    When the music director of a remote monastery is found murdered, Chief Inspector Gamache of the Quebec Provincial Police is immediately called upon to solve the murder.


    KVR to host ‘Wisconsin’s First Peoples’

    March 14th, 2019
    by

    Kickapoo Valley Reserve will offer “Wisconsin’s First Peoples” on Wednesday, March 27.


    Fastrips no longer selling newspapers

    March 14th, 2019
    by

    The County Line still will be available from the following vendors. The County Line still will be available from the following vendors.


    National Weather Service: Ontario under flood warning

    March 13th, 2019
    by

    The following is from the National Weather Service:   The National Weather Service in La Crosse has issued a flood […]


    Monroe County WIC to issue benefits

    March 7th, 2019
    by

    The Monroe County Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will issue benefits and offer nutrition-education days in March.


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Archives