Sunday, 5 June 2011

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME - Mark Haddon, 2003

Yesterday we had a picnic by the Great Northern Basin on the canal at Langley Mill. What better place to start a new book? And, it just so happens that I had just found a second hand copy of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. And I finished it the same day.
I have been aware of it since its publication but I am always very sceptical of anything which messes with the Holmes canon. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. It made great reading but what impressed me most was the unsentimental way it dealt with the of the main character’s autism. Now, I come from a generation of teachers who are obliged to ‘label’ any child who so much as sneezes, so it was actually very refreshing to see it dealt with in such a matter of fact way. And when you think about it, Holmes himself exhibits similar character traits.
So this book fits in very well with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes which I am reading, story by story at the moment. This week I read The Boscombe Valley Mystery, The Five Orange Pips and The Man with the Twisted Lip. The title of the Haddon book, of course, references the infamous exercise in deduction in Silver Blaze (part of the later Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes).

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