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From a very peculiar incident, Mark Haddon builds a story that takes us into the mind of a 15-year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome
What is it about?
The curious incident of the dog at midnight (2003) is a novel that has as protagonist Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy who knows the prime numbers up to 7.507, knows the capitals of all the countries of the world, and explains to perfection the theory of relativity. Christopher has Asperger's syndrome and for that reason he learns easily this type of things, but at the same time he finds it difficult to relate to other people. He lives alone with his father, (we know that his mother died when he was younger) and attends a special school for people similar to him.
Christopher's life takes a different direction when he meets the cadaver of his neighbor's dog, Wellington. Apparently, someone crossed with a gallows and Christopher takes the decision to find out who was the killer. From this, Christopher begins to interview his neighbors, and even though his father asks and forbids him to continue with his detective task, Christopher discovers little by little that many things in his life are a lie and that adults are Strangers than they seem, who like to lie and do not find remorse in it.
The title of the book makes reference to a comment of Sherlock Holmes in the story 'Silver Blaze' of Sir Arthur Connan Doyle.
Who wrote it?
Mark Haddon is a British author born in Northampton, in 1963. He studied English literature at Merton College in Oxford and is a professor of creative writing at Oxford. He is recognized in the literary world for his productions of children's and youth books; his most famous book is The Curious Incident of the Dog at Midnight , which won the Whitebread Award and the Commonwealth Award for Best First Book. He has written two other novels: A Little Incident (2006) and Sinking the Pier (2018); He also has published 20 stories and children's books written or illustrated by him.
Haddon worked with people with autism and asperger, which inspired him and helped create the character of Christopher. He also works as a screenwriter for television series, so he has won two BAFTA awards. His novel was also adapted to the theater in Mexico.
Do I read it or not?
I recommend reading this book if you are interested in knowing a little more how people think that they have this type of syndromes, the book is narrated in first person, which allows it to be in constant contact with the thought of the protagonist, who in his detective journal does not leave out details. You will also enjoy this book if you are beginning to read, because it is easy to read, it impacts and it is also interactive with the reader, in the sense in which it often leaves clues throughout the narrative.
It has some flaws, as the dialogues are very unreal, but this may have to do with what they are being represented by Christopher, so he may be adapting them to his way of speaking. It is a book that moves, but also very much fun, because its main character sees the world in a very particular way.
LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero
Translated from "LatamBook Look: 'El curioso incidente del perro a medianoche' de Mark Haddon"