The Panama Airport does not have a book store. It also doesn't have a newspaper stand, a magazine rack, or any safety brochures. I know, because I spent my two hour layover desperately looking for anything in print to tide me over the next 6 hour plane trip home. So when in the line onto the plane a cute Australian boy pulled a battered paperback out of his backpack and handed it to me, I knew there was going to be something special about that book.
I started the book on the runway and never put it down. The simple style, the intriguing narration, the addition of drawings and diagrams to help illustrate and get inside an autistic mind come together with 3-dimensional characters and an interesting plot line. I loved the somewhat distanced point of view that allows the reader to see commonplace events and situations as strange or difficult. Fifteen year old Christopher lives with his father. He likes math, science movies, and requires that his food be placed separately, not touching, on his plate. A series of events beginning with the murder of his neighbor's dog leads to Christopher discovering a family secret and venturing outside of the safety of his ordered life and into the unsheltered world. A brilliant and fascinating read, no matter if you are trapped on an airplane or merely wishing to escape for awhile into someone else's life.
Emotionally, this book wrapped a tether around my heart and didn't let loose, not even after the story ended. I relate with the main character on a deep level that I often don't with most living, breathing people. It is written simply, almost overly simply, but each well-chosen word brings life to the story. I would recommend this book to anyone who feels like an outsider or a loner. If you have Asperger's Syndrome, or OCD, I especially … more
When Christopher, the autistic 15-year old narrator of The Curious Incident of the Dog in Nighttime, discovers that the dog across the street has been stabbed and killed, he sets out to solve the mystery of who did it. He ends up learning difficult secrets about his own family that turn his world upside-down and send him off on a new journey. The book is unique in that it's written in the viewpoint of a narrator who sees the world very differently from the average reader. Christopher's autism … more