The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Book title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Author: Mark Haddon
Status: Finished

Fifteen-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone is mathematically gifted and socially hopeless, raised in a working-class home by parents who can barely cope with their child's quirks. He takes everything that he sees (or is told) at face value, and is unable to sort out the strange behavior of his elders and peers. Late one night, Christopher comes across his neighbor's poodle, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork. Wellington's owner finds him cradling her dead dog in his arms, and has him arrested. After spending a night in jail, Christopher resolves--against the objection of his father and neighbors--to discover just who has murdered Wellington.

I found this book intriguing when I first started reading, partly because of its unique POV -- a story told by an autistic boy. The book gives readers an insight into the mind of a gifted yet socially crippled one, to (try to) understand the ways an autistic genius' mind works......I'm impressed by the degree of verisimilitude Haddon employs in translating common elements of the diagnosis into Christopher's character, yet I find it harder and harder to like Christopher as a person (fictional character). He is autistic, this I understand, it's not his autistic behavior that turns me off, not even his uncontrolled yet frequent violence against the police or anybody who touches him, but his bloated ego and lack of empathy. I've been trying hard to be considerate and understanding, hoping that Christopher is not totally unfeeling, that he would at least like his father as much as he like stray dogs or his pet rat, but no, he has no sympathy for his father, who is devoted to him 110%, who sacrificed his marriage and almost everything for him.

Many readers praise that this is a great "coming-of-age" story, well, Christopher proves to be a capable "detective", he does overcome tremendous fears to solve the so-called mystery, and he even becomes the first student in the history of his school to pass his maths A-levels, he does great and achieves a lot, I could give him that, but Christopher fails to see that his mother is sick of taking care of him, it's his father who loves him like he is, yet he refuses even to trust him, imagining that his father will kill him, in this regard, I can't see how "coming-of-age" this book is.

The story wore thin towards the end, the whole last section felt bloated, the novelty of the book faded and left me feeling irritated and a little bored.

Mark Haddon did a great job creating an authentic autistic character, but that doesn't make it a good book and a great story.