Saturday, 19 February 2011
World Book Night Challenge 17/25
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
I read this book when it was first published back in 2003 and while I remember it being an okay book I was surprised when it won so many awards.
9 years on that remains my main thought about this book.
I admire the way that Haddon seems to create the world of a young adult male with autism but neither being male nor (fortunately) suffering from autism I just found that the book frustrated me.
Being a literate person the sign posting of important events seemed too obvious to me and I was frustrated that the book really was that simple for me to understand. I think I was reading it expecting another layer to the story that just wasn't there.
In fact the main emotion I feel on finishing this book is anger.
I am about to read The Hound of the Baskervilles - it is top of my to read pile once I finish the WBN challenge - and Haddon gives away the whole plot without warning.
I can see that this is a brave attempt to explain the world of a young adult with autism who doesn't see the world in the same way as I do but my cynical side kept asking me how realistic it was, how can Haddon write this book while not suffering from the condition himself?
Realistically I know that this is the sign of a good author, being able to create a world like this, but knowing some people with autism and how hard they find it to explain the world I wonder if it is how Haddon imagines.
I can't coherently express my thoughts for this book. It isn't a book I enjoyed and to be honest I can't see why it won as many awards as it did, however with my perverse hat on I can see that it is a brave book and why it won as many plaudits as it did.
A book I'm glad I read as a library book, probably not one I will read again but ultimately a thought provoking read. All I have to do now is forget the spoilers for Hound of the Baskervilles...