Culture

BOOK REVIEW The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: A fantastical story that appeals to the mind

Eccentric, interesting, mysterious; three words that describe novelist Mark Haddon’s best seller titled The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Set in England, the novel slowly weaves a tale about a special needs child named Christopher John Francis Boone and his trials with life. Set off by the abrupt and anonymous murder of the neighbor’s dog, Wellington, Christopher begins to play detective. Determined to solve the murder mystery of Wellington, Christopher discovers more than what he originally planned to know by defying his father and speaking to strangers, learning secrets about his past that only affect his future.

The twist of the story becomes somewhat evident midway through the book, however.Christopher’s intricate details about numbers, details and eccentricities are intriguing and unlike other characters in popular novels. Accompanied by his pet rat Toby, Christopher’s discoveries are documented in a book written by himself, providing the reader with added perspectives to the already unusual story.

Remarkably well written, Mark Haddon makes the challenging story of an autistic boy truly come to life within the pages of his novel. Despite the improbability of such a tale, the ease with which the fantasy is written appeals to the mind. Easy to read and delightfully engaging, Haddon’s novel deserves its title of national bestseller.

Joanna Davila can be contacted a j.davila1@umiami.edu.

September 17, 2004

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