Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

Don’t be put off by the length of the title. Mark Haddon’s novel which has thrilled adults and children alike is a worthy winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year; and yes, it has pictures.

The story is narrated by Christopher, a fifteen year old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, and describes his attempts to find out who killed his neighbour’s dog with a garden fork. Motivated by a determination to uncover the truth and an awe for the expertise of Sherlock Holmes, Christopher’s detective skills unearth both the identity of the murderer along with a disturbing family secret which uproots his ordered existence and causes him to venture out into a terrifyingly alien world. In its use of the detective genre to raise questions pertaining to more than the specific plot, it takes a worthy place alongside Umberto Eco’s ‘The Name Of The Rose’ and (particularly with its child protagonist) Donna Tart’s ‘The Little Friend.’

Christopher’s narration gives a truthful and perceptive account of a world we all take for granted and his mathematical genius offers an intriguing insight into the logical answers to life’s big questions. Haddon’s is an endearing, thought-provoking novel whose uniqueness has rightfully taken the literary world by storm.