RFM Bookshelf: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

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    RFM team members share a book they’ve enjoyed. Maybe you will, too!

    Most of us want to learn about the human experience through popular media.

    That’s why the network TV series, The Good Doctor on ABC, is a hit, and why Marc Haddon’s novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is being produced on stages across the country.

    When a neighbor’s dog is killed, 15-year-old Christopher Boone’s carefully constructed world of rules unravels. In the spirit of Sherlock Holmes, he sets out to solve the case and chronicles the investigation in a book – the one you are reading. Though the book is billed as a mystery, investigating the case serves as the perfect backdrop for an exploration of what it’s like to operate as an outsider as Christopher tries to reunite with his long-lost mother and prepare for his math exams so he can attend a university.

    I picked up The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and read it very quickly a year or so after it came out in 2003. My kids were very young then, and I had yet to meet families with kids on the autism spectrum. As I followed the adventures of 15-year-old boy detective, I saw the world through a different lens – the kind of lens that “a mathematician with some behavioral difficulties” might be peering through. Though Haddon, who does not have autism, has said that the book was not written as a window into the mind of someone on the spectrum, it is a compelling portrayal of a neurodiverse character.

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time opens at Virginia Rep in September, which means you have more than a month to read this important book.