the curious incident of the dog in the night-time

Amazing. Poignant. Moving. Lovely. These are just some of the words critics use to describe this book (a random gift from Wilbert). Affecting. Convincing. Achingly sad. Here are some more. A staple in almost any bookstore, the curious incident of the dog in the night-time remains a widely available and easily recognizable novel. It starts out with a murder mystery: Christopher, a fifteen-year-old boy with autism, discovers the dead body of his neighbor’s dog and decides to investigate. He begins writing a detective novel, but ends up chronicling a much bigger adventure as he discovers that his life contains more unsolved mysteries than he had supposed.

At first Christopher reminded me of Charlie from the perks of being a wallflower, but that comparison didn’t last long. Christopher is a much more difficult character, in all possible ways. He lives by a set of rules completely different from our own. He is the kind of person who, after finding out that his mother has died, goes into a discussion about the different kinds of heart attacks and how they happen. I found it near-impossible to sympathize with him. But I remember this one scene when he looks up at the stars and comforts himself after a shocking discovery: “…if you have difficult things in your life it is nice to think that they are what is called negligible, which means that they are so small you don’t have to take them into account when you are calculating something.” Most of the time Christopher is rude, selfish, inconsiderate, and I know it’s not his fault, but still I did not like him. I felt sad for him. He overanalyzes life so much that he misses the most important things: family, friends, relationships. He does not know how to trust anybody, not even his own father. He lives a sad, sad life, and he doesn’t even know it.

For some reason I had expected this book to be cute and heartwarming. It wasn’t. But in a way that’s better. It’s a more honest depiction of the burdens of a life affected by autism, not just for the one struggling with it, but for all those around him. I was not bowled over by this book, but I found it okay. That’s actually rather disappointing given how much I had looked forward to it but: what else can I say? It’s just okay.

I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.

I find people confusing.

…sometimes I look up into the sky and I think that there are molecules of Mother up there, or in clouds over Africa or the Antarctic, or coming down as rain in the rain forests in Brazil, or in snow somewhere.

…the largest bit of the sky is always on the other side of the earth.

‘You have to learn to trust me… And I don’t care how long it takes… If it’s one minute one day and two minutes the next and three minutes the next and it takes years I don’t care. Because this is important. This is more important than anything else.’

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