"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A reread of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Just as good as the first time.

On my recent vacation to Italy I didn't take enough books to satisfy my reading needs, so part way through the trip had to scrounge around to find something to read. My daughter had purchased a used copy of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon before she left and then nearly finished it on the plane ride to Italy. She handed if off to me when she was done so that I could have a back-up book. Luckily she did, too, since I needed it.

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 Archives
Our 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?

30 books this Summer Reading Challenge

5 / 30 books. 16% done!


  1. I haven't read this particular book (which sounds good, and I've been meaning to read it!) But I do re-read books all the time. It's comforting, like pulling a well-loved blanket around your shoulders. And it's why I own so many books - many of them are books I've loved and read at least twice, some as many as 20 times. (Tolkien *cough cough*)

  2. I reread all the time as well. In fact, my entire home library consists of books I'm hoping either to reread or to get my family to read. Otherwise I donate the book away. Given that I have about ten bookcases, I clearly think I have a lot of time on my hands!


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