“And I know I can do this because I went to London on my own, and because I solved the mystery…and I was brave and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything.” (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon)
There are few things I love more than a well-executed understated plot. So many books revolve around a marriage plot, a world-saving plot, or a grand mystery unraveled that one gets sick of all the escapades. How many events that dramatic happen in one’s own life? Eventually it becomes impossible to relate to them except as a method of escapism. In this book, no one changes except perhaps the secondary characters, and nothing happens that is more exciting than a train ride to London.
In spite of the circumspect plot-line, Haddon uses his first-person narrator – an autistic teen – as a springboard to discuss subjects as far ranging as advanced mathematics, philosophy, and physics in language so straight-forward and clear that it becomes poetry. You come away from the book both with the intimate comfort of insignificant things and the mind-expanding thrill of learning something new. A lovely combination, and an exceptional read.