Not a very long audiobook at just over six hours of listening, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is written by Mark Haddon and narrated by Jeff Woodman. The story is written in first person, and the main protagonist is fifteen year old Asperger victim, Christopher. Asperger syndrome is a disorder on the spectrum of Autism. Christopher is perfectly functional, but has peccadilloes, i.e., he hates anything yellow or brown, food mustn’t touch other food on his plate. Christopher doesn’t like faces, doesn’t want to be touched, is almost savant at math and science, and is literal to the extreme. He’s a fan of Sherlock Holmes, but doesn’t like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – the title is a reference to a Doyle book. His emotions are stoic and his world is very black and white, right and wrong – nothing is gray.
Christopher is driven to solve a murder, the gruesome death of a neighbor’s poodle. He decides to write a book, the one we read. The story is a journey not only through murder mystery clues, but through Christopher’s thought process and logic. This is a realistic portrayal of an autistic mind, familial struggle, an understanding of the human condition.
Mark Haddon initially authored only children’s books, and in fact The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was released with two covers, one for children/teen readers, one for adult. A marketing ploy? The books are supposedly identical and both are available on Amazon. The marvel of this book, as opposed to other books about disabled people, is that there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of autism or autistic people in Haddon’s circle, at least none were found in my limited bit of research. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is all that much more of an amazing read given the character of Christopher is Mark Haddon’s imagination and research alone – very insightful.
The prose is lyrical, the story a slice of life from the viewpoint of a naive and vulnerable child stricken with a disability of which he is completely unaware.
Jeff Woodman’s interpretation is superb.
A thought provoking story well worth your time. Enjoy!