I was pleasantly surprised how much I (a 62 year old adult) enjoyed this "children's" book. British "children's" books seem to be more advanced than most (take Neil Gaimen's books such as The Graveyard Book, which is excellent!) The reader of "Currious Incident.." gives a very good performance. The writer gives a fascinating insight into autism. The story is told by an autistic teenager who is determined on solving the murder of a dog in the garden. Family life around him is a mess (mother/father problems), which is also an interesting story. This is a book that you can listen to with your child or grandchild without embarrassment. You will be educated, entlightened and entertained.
Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!
Audible has its way of pulling you into unexpected stories. One day, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" (2003) popped up for the price of a latte. I think it's meant to be 'Young Adult', a genre I don't usually read - but it had awesome reviews. I skipped Starbucks, had black coffee at the office, and bought the book.
I'm a huge fan of Temple Grandin, the autistic author of, most recently, "The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum" (2013). Dr. Grandin thinks differently than neuro-typical people and does a great job at describing that. So does Mark Haddon in "The Curious Incident".
Christopher Boone, a brilliant mathematician hates the colors yellow and brown, and is in a 'special school' to help him lean, among other things, to understand what the expressions on people's faces mean. The book starts with Chapter 2 (on purpose, it's not an editing problem - and there's a good reason for it), when Christopher discovers Wellington, his neighbors' poodle, pitch forked to death.
Christopher is determined to solve the mystery, just like his one fictional hero, Sherlock Holmes. Christopher does, with the directness of someone with 'no filters', as well as the physical and mental pain 'no filters' for audio, visual and tactile senses causes. He is tenacious and brave - and while he doesn't say it, autistic. Like the best fiction, Haddon draws us into someone we aren't.
I know that this is Assigned Reading in a lot of English classes, and there are Themes and Meanings that are to be gleaned. I don't think Haddon meant to write an Important Book, I think he was writing a nifty story that turned out to have lessons. Enjoy the mystery first, and then worry about the message. The book quotes well - the title of this review is one.
The narration was good - I get a kick out of Jeff Woodman's English accent.
The book was worth a week of lattes. Or two. Or a month.
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You will love this story and it will linger in your mind. The story is told through the eyes of and from within the mind of a 15 year-old boy with Asperger's Syndrome, related to or a type of autism characterized by normal intelligence, a facility with language, but difficulties with managing interpersonal relations and social interactions, including difficulty reading facial expressions. They do connect with people, but in a round-about way, as you will see in this story. These children can grow up to excel in a chosen field of learning and this boy is presented as a mathematics and physics savant. Some of his insights in the world of physics are fascinating and truly enlightening. If you love discovering new facts and figuring things out this book offers a few really fascinating discoveries, especially the boy?s explanation of why the night sky is so dark when it contains a billion billion stars. The boy lacks an ability to connect emotionally with others but you will find yourself developing an emotional connection with him, as his parents, his teacher and one of his neighbors do. Love does not always have to be reciprocal. You will love this book, the narrator, and the boy, and even the murdered dog.
I listened to this title after finishing Chernow's Hamilton biography and found it to be just what I was looking for. The story narrated Christopher, an autistic mathematic savant, though ostensibly a detective story, becomes a journey about the meaning of love and understanding between people with great differences. Though some of the characters are a bit shallow (Christopher's mother, for instance), you come to care enough about Christopher that you barely notice.
The reader has also done a nice job. Though it takes a lot from a reader to provide a reason for listening to a novel, this production certainly does not hinder the enjoyment of the narrative.
One note of caution. The novel includes several graphics, charts, and diagrams (and a mathematical proof) that the audio book, obviously, does not. It is a good idea to stop by a book store and peruse the book so that you don't miss anything.
If you like Life of Pi, you'll probably like this one. Like LoP, its a story told through the eyes of a young boy. (It is also narrated by the same narrator).
I'm not much of a reviewer, but I really enjoyed it and I highly recommend it for your next book selection!
Yes, I'd recommend this book for anyone who enjoys Aspies or wants to learn more about high functioning autism. Now I realize that the author of this book has gone on record as saying that he didn't mean to outline any one specific disorder, yet this is analogous with how the directors of the tv show 'Big Bang Theory' claim that Sheldon wasn't written to be on the autism spectrum either. Uh, whatever -- this is textbook Asperger's Syndrome. In this book, the main character is a 15-year-old boy who has high functioning autism. He decides to write a book about his life story and a mystery he's trying to solve. Some parts are funny, others are sad, and then in the first chapter you might even feel a little disgusted. It's not so much that the events of the story are overly entertaining but it's the way the character interprets them and negotiates his confusing world that makes this story so interesting. I loved it!
I loved the scene when Christopher was snuggled up behind a huge piece of luggage on a shelf while riding the train because this is where he felt the safest and another passenger, who sounded a lot like Dudley Moore (the drunk version from the movie 'Arthur'), finds him hiding there. I laughed out loud at that part. Really, you have to listen to the book to know what made it so funny. I'm betting you'll chuckle too.
I loved the father, Ed, most of all. I was really able to empathize with some of his struggles and frustrations, as well as the undeniable, unbreakable love he had for his son, even though all of this was relayed from the angle of his Aspie son.
I laughed quite a few times and felt a little shocked at others. There was one scene in the train station where I felt really nervous for Christopher and I can honestly say that I had no idea what was going to happen next. As you're listening to the story, you tell yourself, "Naw, this is the main character ... he's going to be okay", yet Chapter 1 clarifies that some pretty shocking things can happen in this book so anything really goes.
There is profanity in this book so it's not one you want playing in the car when you have little ears in the back seat. However, the reader does a phenomenal job retelling this story and I learned a lot of British humor too. I will be checking out other books by this author and reader.
The reading and the writing of this audiobook are perfectly suited for each other and absolutely delightful, clever and innocent at once. It's like having a conversation with a fresh, clear-eyed, uniquely shaped mind so engaging you don't notice you're not saying anything.
As an English teacher, I'm a fussy listener. This book and this wonderful reading is as good as it gets. The protagonist's purity will make you laugh, and touch you at the same time. You can't see where the plot will wind up. This one will make you want to sit in the driveway. A perfect book.
The story was great - really gave so much insight into what a person with this kind of illness is thinking and experiencing. Makes their behavior so much more understandable. This has to be a case where the audio version is better than reading the book yourself. The narrator did a great job with expression and creating distinct characters. Each character became very real. I couldn't wait to hear each CD, yet didn't want it to end. I highly recommend.
This book was different from the books I've been reading at Audible.I don't think I would have picked this book up at the book store. But listening to it was fantastic - the narrator was British and he brought the dialect and characters to life. I can't recommend this book enough. Listen to it.