Like my other reread of the trip, Looking for Alaska, I first read The Curious Incident years ago when I was a new teen librarian. I even purchased multiple copies for the library for some project in Psychology class. When that class stopped using it, I kept the extra copies around because it was a reliable book to recommend to students who couldn't "find anything to read." I remembered it being a good solid book with a bit of a mystery and a lot about autism. On this reread I realized that my memory was intact. This time around, though, the voice of the autistic narrator, Christopher, really sang out to me in a way I don't recall it did last time.
When Christopher, a school-age autistic boy, discovers his neighbor's dog is murdered he decides to investigate it even though his father warns him not to. Christopher, whose favorite book is The Hound of the Baskervilles, decides to pattern his investigation after Sherlock Holmes. His detective work eventually takes him to London. This trip is a harrowing adventure full of terrifying events and scenes as seen through the eyes of a boy who doesn't process the world the way you or I do. The reader gets the rare opportunity, through Haddon's genius, to truly experience how frightening everyday events like taking a bus or a train can be for a person with autism.
Michiko Kakutani, writing for the New York Times, says this in a summary about the book:
...Christopher emerges as a wonderfully vivid individual. He never for a moment feels like a generic teenager or a composite portrait of someone with Asperger's syndrome (the form of autism that he presumably suffers from). At the same time, Mr. Haddon writes with such sympathy, such understanding of Christopher's interior life, that he makes all his obsessions and needs into a mirror of our own cravings for safety and order, while turning Christopher's ''detective story'' into a bildungsroman that's not about finding solutions and proofs but about coming to terms with the disorder and betrayals of grown-up life.---NYT Book Review ArchivesOur school selected The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time as one of many books students can select for their summer reading this year. After this reread, I couldn't be more delighted with this selection. In Christopher students may find a character that will actually help them to understand their classmates or themselves better.
As I was checking out the Internet for book reviews about curious Incident I stumbled upon this trailer for a play about the book. I can't wait until it comes to a theater in my town. Have a look.
To reread or not to reread? I am glad I reread this book. What about you? Do you reread books? Why or why not?
5 / 30 books. 16% done!