55. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time,” Mark Haddon

Very cool book. Written from the perspective of a fifteen-year-old boy with Asperger’s who is investigating the murder of his neighbor’s dog, this book does an excellent job of showing some of the thought processes and patterns common to people with Asperger’s. Near the end of the book, he describes one of his favorite dreams. In it, nearly everyone in the world dies of a virus. It’s not like a flu, but more like a computer virus. It is spread by looking at people’s faces when they are making an emotion and understanding what their faces are saying. You can catch it through the TV, so it spreads very quickly. Sometimes in his dream, people just don’t want to move at all when they get the virus, other times they jump into the sea. He likes the second version better, because then there are no bodies.

There are just a few people left over who are special like Christopher, but you hardly ever see them, because they are all quiet and shy. And so Christopher can go places without worrying about crowds or that people will touch him or try to ask him questions. And he breaks into people’s houses by smashing their windows with bricks (because they don’t care any more) and gets to be a detective. In his dream, he goes to sleep and then he wakes up happy.

It made me sad on two levels: that his perfect world is one without people, and that our world is so emphatically contrary to what is best and happiest for him. I was reading this during the distopian “Blindness” and they had me thinking about who gets to decide what the perfect world looks like– who decides what any world looks like.

A good book, often darkly funny, and a nice way of really understanding the way Asperger’s ticks.

Page count: 226
Page total: 22,864

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