Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

First of all I have to apologize beforehand to all parents and kids who has to battle autism, Asperger etc on a daily basis. I know for a fact that that is not easy.

But I just didn't like this book. I found it very annoying. It is about Christopher, he is 15 years old and he has Asperger's Syndrome. The book is supposed to be written by Christopher, and I found it very hard to read it and maintain a serious view on it. I almost gave up on it several times. I could not find any kind of interest in or sympathy with Christopher, his difficulties, his family or anything else in this book.


I realize that the author may have written this book in such an annoying way so that the reader is feeling the same (annoyance, despair, frustration) as parents who has a child like Christopher may feel.

I did not like this book at all. If any one can enlighten me on why this book was so hyped, please explain. I didn't get it at all.

18 comments:

Dorte H said...

I am in fact the mother of an Asperger, but please don´t apologize to me or my son. I wouldn´t want you to write a less than honest review :)
I haven´t read the book, by the way, but I have heard many positive reviews, and if I come across it I´ll probably read it as I am obviously curious. Personally I cannot imagine that a book written by an Asperger could have great literary quality so if the writing style is realistic it should also be quite uninteresting in my opinion. My son studies math at the university, and that is no coincidence.

Julia Smith said...

This book is on my Dewey Challenge list, so I'll be posting the review at some point this year. Right now I'm reading 'March' by Geraldine Brooks, which I'm really enjoying. But it has to get bumped because I have to do a review for one of my writers' group members, whose Harlequin Super Romance was released this month. That always happens to my personal reading!

Cathy said...

I read the book last year, and it was one of my Top Ten Reads. I'm not about to try to explain it to you, though, because not all books are for all people. This book in particular seems to be either a book that someone reads and loves, or a book that someone else reads and hates. There's very little middleground. This book just wasn't for you. You've probably read and loved a book that I didn't care for at all. It all evens out. :)

Libertine said...

Hello. I am a mother of a girl with autism - not Asperger's but close. I read this book and I must admit I read it mixed feelings towards it.
I found the characteristics of the boy very exagerated, however, maybe you need to "blow" the picture to get through to those, who haven't met the problem face to face? Another words - it is a good book, but it is a case study not a generalisation. :-)

Louise said...

Thank you all for your valuable input.

@Dorte: I am glad I had not offended you or your son in any way. I have a friend who has a son with autism as well as a couple of family members who battle Aspergers and milder autism on a daily basis and I know how much of a struggle it is.

@Julia: I am looking forward to read your review of the book. Always interesting to get other reader's opinion.

@Cathy: It just goes to show that what I love is not necessarily what the other reader loves. I read this book for many reasons, one of them being the many recommendations I have received over the past couple of years.

@Libertine: I do think that you are right in that it has to be exaggerated a bit in order to really sink in. But I am glad you mentioned that the descriptions in the book did seem exaggerated. That was one of the things which annoyed me a lot.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Bernadette in Australia said...

I didn't get all the way through this book - in the end I couldn't be bothered with it. Which is not a comment on people with autism or Asperger's - it's a comment on the book only. My 16 year old godson has Asperger's and as he used to live with me during school term (his parents were living in the country and no local school could offer him what he needed as far as special needs education so he lived with me during school terms for several years until his whole family moved back to the city) I have a fair understanding of the syndrome and empathy for sufferers and their families. But that didn't help me like this book.

Louise said...

Thanks for your insights Bernadette! Its good to know I am not the only one disliking a book a lot of people seemed to love.

Louise

Julia Smith said...

Hey Louise - I'm finally passing along the Let's Be Friends Award you gave me in January. I've got a big awards show going on.

Libertine said...

Thank you for popping to my little blog Louise. I am also going to write about a few books I love so maybe we could exchange our views as well :-)

Kailana said...

I read this book so long ago that I really couldn't say much about it! I actually didn't like it as much as others... I think I read it before I started blogging.

bermudaonion said...

Sorry this one didn't work for you.

bkclubcare said...

I read this when it came out but honestly I cannot recall anything about it nor if I liked it or didn't like it!

Nymeth said...

I'm one of the few who haven't read this book, so I can't join the discussion, but I really enjoyed reading it. And anyway, I actually like reading negative reviews of widely loved books, as they allow me to adjust my expectations.

PS: Thanks for taking the time to tell us what's up with you. Good luck with your thesis!

Ali said...

I loved this book, but then again I like narrators with quirky voices.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, sounds like you're really busy, I'm amazed you're able to blog at all!

joanna said...

I loved this book too - although I can't remember why so i can't help you there. I read it a really long time ago so maybe it's time for a re-read! I hate it when this happens though - when you hear so many good things about a book and you don't like it yourself. Such a letdown.

Good luck with everything!

Mim said...

I'm another that enjoyed the book but can't really remember why, too long since I read it!

I do know that I also read Elizabeth Moon's Speed of Dark at about the same time which I thought was a much better and more interesting book, the protagonist is autistic rather than aspergers and Elizabeth Moon has an autistic son which clearly helped with her portrayal of the syndrome.

Libertine said...

What a coincidence, Mim. Just a few days ago I wrote about The Speed of Dark in my blog, lol. Definately my favourite novel on the subject.

regularrumination said...

I did not love this one either. My cousin has autism and I am very close to my aunt and uncle and often watch him. I wanted to love the book, but I agree, I did not. I know a lot of people who think that it is not exactly accurate etc.