The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
For a starting note, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a bit different from the other four books. It’s fiction. Although the story isn’t real, author Mark Haddon still does an excellent job capturing what life can be like for a child on the autism spectrum, and then situating this experience in the larger context of his story.
Now on Broadway, the story follows the adventure of 15-year-old Christopher Boone. Christopher lives in Swindon with his father and pet rat. Haddon goes to great lengths to describe the various and particular challenges that Christopher faces, and then we as the reader begin to see how these challenges impact Christopher’s experience in the larger world.
At its heart, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a detective story. One of Christopher’s preoccupations is with Sherlock Holmes, and this fascination leads him deeper and deeper into a mystery that he’s trying to solve. While it lacks the true-life appeal that the other four memoirs have, Haddon’s story provides an excellent entry point into understanding how autism can be played out in the world.
Check out The Guardian for a more detailed review of Haddon’s novel.