Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

I haven't had the longest attention span lately, certainly not for reading. I get like this for long stretches, and therefore become especially grateful to the book that knocks me out of these non -reading stupors.
Enter The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon. My dear old friend Cate Rowen recommended it to me, and it was a completely absorbing and elegant little book. I don't use the word little to diminish it's impact, but really it's short, and it's elegance [which is a word often overused in book reviews, I think] is a word I choose because the protagonist, Christopher Boone, is an autistic boy whose narrative voice is so clear and insightful that were he a grammatician I'd call him Mr. Strunk or White.
I've met my share of Asbergian children, and overall, when they're in a phase of being related socially, their intelligence is the first trait to push through-- emotion, not so much. I've long been fascinated by Aspergians because I believe I've friended several of them through my lifetime; all to my knowledge have remained undiagnosed, or simply choose not to talk about it. Quirky, particular, predictable... and loveable to me, to their deepest depths. Emotion is not worn on their sleeves, but expressed through actions. They show up when they say they will, they remember birthdays, they are the dearest of friends through series of thoughtful actions. They are emotional and devoted people, but they just show it differently, like Christopher Boone.  I have embraced their differences in my own life because to my chagrin I'm more of a chaotic, messy, forgetful type. In contrast, the order and loveliness of these stoic and orderly people has inspired me to consider clarity a virtue. Maybe things are as they appear, and that's the beauty of our mysterious world. It's not the mystery that is mysterious, but the glorious order of it all. 

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