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.

  • Calling for ‘Easy Street’: Royall presents ‘Annie’

    June 20th, 2019
    by

    Royall High School presented “Annie” on Saturday and Sunday.


    Book review: ‘Truth Worth Telling’ by Scott Pelley

    June 20th, 2019
    by

    In Scott Pelley’s prolog, he writes, “If you are looking for a partisan point of view, stop here.” He goes on to explain that reader would be wasting his or her time.


    Book review: ‘How to Become a Good Creature’ by Sy Montgomery

    June 13th, 2019
    by

    “How to Become a Good Creature” is subtitled “A Memoir in 13 Animals.”


    Wildcat to host summer programs

    June 13th, 2019
    by

    The following free programs will be offered at Wildcat Mountain State Park this summer.


    KVR’s Rustic-Raft Rally will be July 27

    June 13th, 2019
    by

    Does floating down a river on a homemade log raft seem like an adventure from long ago?


  • Workshop on Driftless geology is June 22

    June 13th, 2019
    by

    Valley Stewardship Network will offer a workshop on Driftless geology from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June22, at Nature Nooks Retreat, S4878 County Hwy. S, Viroqua.


    Hunter safety class will be offered at Brookwood

    June 11th, 2019
    by

    A hunter safety class will be offered at Brookwood starting June 24.


    Book review: ‘The Woman in the Window’ by A.J. Finn

    June 6th, 2019
    by

    Anna Fox has agoraphobia. She can’t leave her house, so she spends her days drinking wine, playing chess on her computer and watching her neighbors.


    Vernon County to offer WIC benefits

    June 5th, 2019
    by

    The Vernon County Health Department will offer Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program benefits in June.


    N-O-W a School of Recognition recipient

    June 5th, 2019
    by

    Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton Elementary School recently was among the 114 Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition recipients.
    The honor recognizes schools that are successful in educating students from families who are economically disadvantaged. N-O-W


    Wilton takes trophy in food-drive competition

    June 4th, 2019
    by

    Wilton is the victor in in a food-drive competition among the Wilton, Norwalk and Ontario police departments.


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Archives