Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Curious, Indeed

Finished The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon a couple of days ago (been busy - now blogging about it, finally).

An easy read - as in quick - but touching and profound.

The story is told from the perspective of Christopher, a British teenager who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. Christopher's condition renders him unable to process emotions and feelings like the average person, but this doesn't mean he doesn't have them himself; he just deals with them in a very different way.

The story begins with the murder of a neighbor's dog, but takes on the shape of a complex and heartbreaking family drama, all seen through Christopher's analytical and seemingly emotionless eyes.

To me, however, it seemed that Christopher DID experience great tides of emotion and feeling (hence him feeling ill and agitated when confronted with an unpleasantness); his mind is simply unable to handle the extremity of feeling - so he retreats into the logical and cold world of mathematics and science to deal with what is happening to him.

Christopher's family situation is desperately sad, but it is because he is the way he is that allows him to deal with it in a detached manner - but with a very deep-down well of feeling that he is unable to show.

Sweet, sad, funny, heartbreaking. A good read.

Up next: The Children of Men by P.D. James.

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