The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is told in the first person by Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15 year old autistic boy, who sets off on a detective mission to discover who killed his neighbor’s dog. Christopher counts forward in prime numbers, can’t tolerate the colors yellow or brown, avoids strangers, is easily overwhelmed by noise or crowds, and always tells the truth.
We don’t often get a glimpse into the minds and worlds of people so different from ourselves. Author Mark Haddon takes us on a touching journey of how this boy’s world unravels and comes together again as he bumps up against the very real human failings of those closest to him. We feel his anguish and also the comfort he finds in his world of abstract problem solving. The book has several mind-stumping math problems, that Christopher delights in solving for us. One in particular, the Monty Hall problem, was really annoying. It’s the kind of problem that makes you sit down, take out a pen and paper and try to make sense of it. But you can’t. Or most people can’t. I think that is part of the interesting charm of this book. We the readers are as closed off to the world which Christopher inhabits, as he is to our world. As smart as I was in math, these problems confused me, made my brain hurt. As brilliant as Christopher is, it takes every ounce of his mental focus to take a simple subway ride.