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Monkeypanic

SPOILER ALERT!

Why I 'm done with book recommendations

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

So once again I have to be the asshole who doesn't absolutely love the book that everybody tells me I'm supposed to love.

 

I'm not saying this was a horrible book; I'm just not into stories like this very much. Several people have told me to read this, and I was recently given the book- so I sort of felt like I had to read it, and.. meh.

 

It's about an autistic kid's adventures solving a dog-murder, dealing with his parents' divorce, and navigating the perils of "the big city" (London). The big draw to a lot of readers is that it is written from the kid's perspective. The author has an extensive history working with autistic (a broad and poorly-defined condition) children, so he supposedly has the credibility to write this- yet... does he?  Does working with these kids mean you can really get into their heads?  Maybe to an extent, but maybe not. I kept wondering the whole time whether this character accurately represents how an autistic child reasons. My nephew is autistic (which is why so many people think I should read this), and he doesn't seem remotely similar to the main character of this book.  ...So is the writing off? Or is autism just too broad to neatly characterize with a single character?  Were the kids the author worked with not representative of autism overall?  Is my nephew not representative of autism overall?   

 

I don't want to go any further, getting down on this book.  I can see the appeal, honestly, if you're already disposed to like murder mysteries, stories about kids, stories about divorce, or non-authoritative accounts about what it's like to be autistic. Since I'm not into any of those things, I wasn't into this book, and I'm gradually learning not to place much stock in book recommendations, because usually when people tell me "Oh, you'd love this book", it really means "Oh, I loved this book, and I want you to love it too."