I am currently reading "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time" by Mark Haddon. (Anchor Canada, 2004). I started reading it because someone gave it to me, but since the story starts out with a dog who is killed with a garden fork and the narrator and main character is a teenaged autistic boy, I didn't think I would find it all that uplifting. Wow, was I ever wrong!
It is a fascinating story of character Christopher's quest to discover who is responsible for the murder of his neighbour's dog. Since his autism interferes with his ability to understand, speak and relate to other people, particularly adult people, he gets himself embroiled in a series of misadventures along the way to solving the crime. There is a tremendous amount of wit and gentle humour in the writing. I have several friends with children surviving in various places along the autism spectrum but have not much experience in dealing with their problems myself.
The author worked with autistic children in his younger days and seems to have an excellent grasp of the thought process some of these kids struggle with in their attempts to cope in a world that is most confusing and foreign to them.
It is a wonderful book, with sympathetic characters, realistic situations and a good understanding of human nature when people are confronted by other people living with circumstances they don't undertand or appreciate. It is an adult book despite being charactered mainly by a teenaged boy and his thoughts.
I don't remember now who gave it to me, but I certainly am glad I have the chance to read it!