Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Curious Incident of an Unplanned Read

I suppose I've gotten so used to planning out my next few reads that a sudden divergence from the predictability becomes blog-worthy.  Not sure how I feel about that, but nonetheless here we are.

When Mark Haddon's The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-time hit the shelves around 2003ish, it was one of those immensely popular titles and nothing that anyone said could convince me to read it.  Not even the fact that my husband started reading it and kept telling me interesting tidbits.  It took me organizing and clearing my shelves some 8 years later for me to flip through it and hear myself think, "Hm. This looks interesting."

Those of you who've read it already know that it doesn't take long to read, which certainly helped to convince me to pick it up on a whim.  The problem was (apart from its über-popularity) that the topic just didn't sound interesting to me.  It isn't that I find the subject of learning-differences boring, it's that I had never read a book that made it so easy to understand and empathize with such a character.  That all changed before I'd read more than a few pages of Haddon's book.

One of the really fun parts of the book is the inclusion of drawings and diagrams.  The books is set up as if it is a journal of sorts--one that could eventually become a book.  I appreciated how the narrative voice belonged fully to the main character, and loved the combination of humor and heartache.  All those raving reviews that had me rolling my eyes and sighing in 2003, are actually right on the money, and I'm glad I allowed myself to be sidetracked from my chores long enough to discover that.

And.  Hopefully I'm getting a little bit better about reacting so strongly to outside influences! 8 years is just a little silly.


  1. We have the exact same philosophy on the over-popular book. I missed "The Help" for this very reason.

    I'm glad you went for it though. It's good to stretch once in a while.

    Carry on.

  2. Isn't it great to start the year with a winner?

    I also waited until all the hype settled down and read it in 2007. One of the best of that year.

  3. My grandmother had this book. I think she bought it because there was a good review in the Christian Science Monitor (if the CSM had a favorable review, she always bought it). After she died I was going through her books and it looked interesting so I took it home and read it.
    I didn't love it, but it was good and I enjoyed reading it.

  4. I read this one in grad school (only at a prof's prompting), and while I liked it well enough, it was one of those books I "appreciated" and would rather teach than actually re-read ever again. lol I did like the style and Haddon's inclusion of the drawings.

  5. I never read popular books when they first come out, I like to be contrary :P

    I'm glad you enjoyed this one, I thought the author did a fantastic job of showing us what it is like to have autism.

  6. I seem to avoid over-popular books more and more these days, but that wasn't the case back when I read this... and promptly recommended it to everyone I could think of. Very clever post title!

  7. So glad you liked this :) I hadn't heard of it until it was on request when I worked at my campus library and the title was so interesting, I got hold of a copy for myself. It's such an important book to read to better understand autism and its complexities.

  8. Like you, I have a hard time deviating from my planned out list. This is a good one to branch out for, though! I loved the narrator in this book -- I have a fascination for the minds of autistic/Asperger's people since working with a darling little boy for over a year and even though I'm not sure how accurate this one is, it was awesome being inside Christopher's mind.


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