Mark Haddon: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Vintage Books, New York 2004
36. Auflage 2008

beg, bee: 27.08.2008, 11.09.2008

Have you ever wondered about where to find 451c Chapter Road, Willesden, London NW2 5NG? Are you puzzling over Conway’s Soldiers and the stunning, stunningly beautiful and brief proof to it? Or did you know that in Linnaean taxonomy, in accordance with the system of binomial nomenclature, there exist several rivaling names for the yellow fever mosquito? If not, Mark Haddon’s debut novel will introduce you to these and many more small and sizeable questions, mysteries and riddles in our world, and it does so with ease and from a most unexpected, unfamiliar angle. Set aside your inquiry into the diptera for just a moment, and you will instantly feel amazed by this story of fifteen year old Christopher and his investigation into the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog which turns out much more than the “murder mystery novel” he sets out to tell. The first-person perspective of Christopher’s in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time showcases Haddon’s literary technique superbly as it convincingly portrays, without ever explicitly stating the condition in question, the outlook on the world of a boy with Asperger’s syndrome. It captures the reader’s attention from the beginning, numbering its chapters by the primes, and catches him by surprise time and again, when Christopher ponders about mathematical formulae approximating his fear of two evils “in inverse proportion to one another” or describing animal population dynamics (as shown by studies of May, Oster and Yorke in the 1970s), and yet is left unsure to attach any meaning to the facial expressions of his fellow human beings, to emoticons or idioms as in everyday life. One has to concede Christopher’s early caveat that “this will not be a funny book”, and yet its richness in bitter-sweet melody, contemplation on the human mind, and empathy make it a most worthwhile, introspective read. (And while it may go unnoticed for Christopher, you will certainly find many a moment in the protagonist’s adventures for a smile and a laugh in this remarkable, perplexing, hilarious and thought-provoking novel.) Mark Haddon’s versatile prose – which only at the outset may appear simple, mundane or dry but is full of humane spirit – opens up the reader’s eyes and mind to a whole new (outlook on the) world we live in and (the scheme of things we) take for granted. “Lots of things are mysteries. But it doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer to them.” Unlike Christopher, however, we don’t expect science to give all the answers. We still wonder: What is love? What is home? “Where is 451c Chapter Road, Willesden, London NW2 5NG?” (Map)

Review and interview: The Curiously Irresistible Literary Debut of Mark Haddon

228 Seiten, Taschenbuch
Roman, Literatur, England

[Archiv: Ursprünglich veröffentlicht am 13.09.2008.]

Category: Libri L | Tags: , | estienne210 Comment »

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