Reviews: The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time

Not Autism

This is a book about child abuse, where the abusers never get their comeupance. Christopher well, maybe Haddon though he wrote an autistic character, I don't know. The fact is he is written more as a psychopath.

One clue that he is not autistic is on the first page, where he supposedly has a meltdown where he stims, but he is totally lucid the whole time. His narration makes it sound as though he is in control the whole time, which indicates that he is not having a meltdown, but is just acting.

You might have thought it was a social commentary on how people get misdiagnosed because psychologists believe in stereotypes. Maybe if Christopher hadn't been so fond of maths no one would have mislabelled him as autistic. Maybe someone would have realized that his antisocial behaviour was due to childhood abuse and neglect at the hands of his clearly mentally ill mother, and later his father who shows no signs of mental illness himself.

Or perhaps it could be interpreted as sociopathy running in the family, whether genetic or not, from the father to the son. But since the author and publisher insist that it's autism, it is just a book further stigmatizing autistic people while pretending to help.

I wanted to like this...

...but within four chapters I had to abandon book. This isn't a story about an autistic boy. It's a story about a rude, uncouth boy with a label pasted on his forehead.

I have Asperger's Syndrome. I went through seven years of school with people with varying degrees of mental retardation and autism-spectrum disorder. This brat doesn't resemble a single one of them in any degree. He's a poor rip-off of Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man in kid form.

It makes the book impossible to read. I didn't even get into the plot proper because the setup was so obnoxious I wanted to burn the book. (I would have if it weren't a library book.)

When Tropic Thunder said "Never go full retard", they weren't talking about novels. This is a wasted opportunity on a truly sad scale.
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