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The Curious Incident of Dog is the Nightime

This book had been lingering in my bookshelf for quite a few years. I had picked it up some six or seven years ago, but I couldn’t bear to finish it as the language was too crass for my taste. The book had a secured a solid DNF label and lay unread at the back of the bookshelf.

Now, with quarantine in place, I was rummaging through my bookshelf, scrambling to find something for Miss Rehmarkable to read, when I came across this book and I vaguely remembered that it was promoted either as a middle grade or a young adult adult novel.

Initially two versions of this book were published-one for adults and one for children.

I knew it contained swear words, and I was unwilling to give it to sugarplum, so she herself suggested that I cross out all the bad words.

That’s when, bearing a pen in one hand and the book in the other, I started reading; ambivalent about censoring word but repulsed by the alternative.

But as I read further, i figured it wasn’t just the language that was problematic.Not only is it replete with expletives, it depicts the decaying state of family values in certain societies.


The story follow Christopher, a fifteen year old boy with Asperger’s who discovers that his neighbour’s dog has been murdered so he sets off to solve the mystery. The book gives us a glimpse into the inner workings of an autistic mind.

Christopher discovers that his mother who he thought had passed away from a heart attack, had actually eloped with the neighbour and it was actually his father who had killed the neighbor’s dog in a fit of rage. Despite his challenges in adjusting to unfamiliar situations, Christopher sets off to find his mother; encountering drunks and foul mouthed grownups, and dodging the policeman who wants to take him back home.

While this book may represent the realities that a lot of children have to face, I fail to see how our children; coming from stable families and cocooned in a fairly decent environment, would benefit from being exposed to a book like this.

Suffice to say, Miss Rehmarkable won’t be reading this book anytime soon.

It’s a shame, because the book does give insight into the analytical minds of those with Aspergers.

#bookreview #childrensbooks #kidlit #thecuriousincidentofthedoginthenighttime #markhaddon #readinginobedience

Flags: Language, infidelity, alcohol, animal abuse

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