Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, novel and play (1)

Very recently, I read thoroughly an English novel titled "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time".

It is a novel by Mark Haddon. Once published it gained an honorable reputation and was translated into Japanese. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The hero of this novel is Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15 yr old boy with Autism spectrum disorder. One day, he found a dog belonging to a neighbor killed with a garden fork. He decided to detect the murderer. With all his efforts to mimic Sherlock Holms, However, his communicative disabilities caused many troubles. Then, he accidentally revealed a terrible fact about his mother who seemed to died 2 years ago as his father told him.

This novel has a form as Christopher wrote the whole dialogues following to an advice of Siobhan, his teacher. Any numbers of each chapter are composed of prime number. And he often inserts some information which he is interested in, such as mathematics and astronomy.

There are three topics to be enjoyable in this book. First is the mysterious storyline. Who killed the dog? Who could do it? And who was motivated to do so? Christopher proceeds his reasoning with his logical mind. Second, his characteristic as Asperger syndrome is quite funny, a little odd and much cheerful. As a psychiatrist, I thought that the his traits and agony are precisely described. Furthermore, the later part of the novel describes the growth of him. His father and related persons are also involved in the case. They suffer from the difference of each of the stances, and struggle for a happy ending with Christopher.

I was able to read this book completely in English in spite of its length of over 200 pages, because it was quite interesting. In addition, the rhetorical style written by Christopher was so easy to understand. I strongly recommend it for English learners.

This work was arranged into a stage drama. I enjoyed it, too.

(To be continued)

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