The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
A triumphant autistic fantasy.
Haddon manages to write a consistently engaging book from the perspective of an autistic teenager. Itís obviously written by someone whoís not autistic Ė his non-autistic readers can too easily enjoy the style and the structure Ė but itís still an impressive imaginative feat.
Itís more than that. Itís very satisfying as a detective novel. Who did kill the dog? And finding that out only invites more questions Ė bigger and more gripping ones. Thereís that lovely twist of the knife when we realise this diverting investigation about other people actually is coming right back to suddenly be very personal. There are plausible surprises that really manage to surprise you, and integrate perfectly with the crime plot.
Itís more than that. These characters, Christopher, his family and neighbours, really manage to come across as authentic. They are imperfect, they do good things, bad things, but always understandable things. Sometimes you want to get into the pages and shout at them, but even when they arouse our anger theyíve still got our sympathy.
And this is not even to mention the pleasure of Chrisí deadpan narration of constant, often laugh out loud funny, dialogue misunderstandings, nor the thought-provoking philosophical asides. Or the page turning odyssey in Chrisí epic flight to London Ė as riveting a narrative as any dramatic escape Iíve come across in thrillers.
Top stuff. Very original. Good characters. Good episodes. Excellent structure. What else do you want?