Anonymous said to realsocialskills:Ugh, speaking as someone with an Asperger’s diagnosis, I HATED Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. I literally threw the book at the wall in fury halfway through, that’s how much its…
My problem with Curious Incident, extra to what youneedacat raises is that it was intended to be a dark comedy, at the expense of the autistic protagonist. Who was made up as a set of logical rules rather than as a realistic representation of a person.
Here’s a couple of examples of Mark Haddon saying this:
"Mark Haddon: The voice happened by accident. I started with the image of the dead dog, then realised that (in my own slightly twisted opinion) it sounded funny if it was described in a very deadpan, factual manner. Only then did I start to wonder who that deadpan, factual voice might belong to.”
“Dave: Where did you find the original impulse to write this novel? I know that it wasn’t a matter of you thinking you’d write a book about an autistic boy, as some might presume.
"Mark Haddon: No, very deliberately not. And I think if I had done that I’d have run the risk of producing a very stolid, earnest, and over‐worthy book. It came from the image of the dead dog with the fork through it. I just wanted a good image on that first page. To me, that was gripping and vivid, and it stuck in your head. Only when I was writing it did I realize, at least to my mind, that it was also quite funny. But it was only funny if you described it in the voice that I used in the book. So the dog came along first, then the voice. Only after a few pages did I really start to ask, Who does the voice belong to? So Christopher came along, in fact, after the book had already got underway.”
I’ve been and seen the stage version of Curious Incident performed and the audience laughs at the things Christopher says and does pretty consistently throughout the play, except for when it’s being tragic and scary. The biggest laughs are when he’s talking to strangers who don’t know he’s autistic.
Most of the reviews I’ve seen have classed both the book and play as a comedy too, usually qualified as ‘bitter’, ‘dark’, ‘challenging’ as well. No one’s laughing with the character, it’s all at him, even when they’re being sympathetic towards him at other times and that makes me very uncomfortable.