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By Bhalachandra Sahaj

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Hi everyone!

book reviewToday, I want to recommend you to read an amazing book I’m currently reading (I’d also like to recommend you my own books, but I won’t, because it would be unfair). Jokes aside, the book I’m talking about is one of the most amazing literary works I’ve recently ran into . . . or rather walked to.

It’s titled The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon, and it’s a story of an autistic teenager named Christopher who investigates the murder of a next door neighbor’s dog, written on the behalf of the main character. It’s written so well that at first I thought Mr. Haddon was that autistic boy (although it’s not so).

I was amazed by Christopher’s world. Before reading this book, I only heard some stories about the hidden talents of autistic individuals. But “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” elaborated on something more precious and intriguing: the logic that guides an autistic person’s way of thinking. They think incredibly logically—well, at least Christopher, but I believe Mr. Haddon had a real-life prototype for this character, or he is a collective image. Anyways, Christopher helped me realize there are many other perspectives and ways of perceiving reality.

Christopher has a strong talent for mathematics and science, and his goal is to pass a complicated test on math. He also dreams of becoming an astronaut. He has complications with recognizing other people’s emotions and facial expressions, and he cannot understand metaphors or jokes—in fact, he is only capable of understanding the literal meaning of what is being said. It is hard for him to socialize with unfamiliar people, and new surroundings cause him severe stress. But despite all this, Christopher does not appear to be a person with mental problems; to me, he rather seemed to be a person with a specific and unique mentality and personality, and I caught myself thinking that I would like to communicate with him personally, because he knew a lot and his conclusions about the surrounding world were often witty and original.

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is a strange book telling a story of a strange person. But come think of it, what is normal? Where is the line that marks the border between “normality” and “pathology?” I am still reading the book, so I don’t know how it’s going to end, but I already know this seemingly simple book is, in fact, just a tip of an iceberg.

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