SUMMARY (from Goodreads): Christopher is an intelligent youth who lives in the functional hinterland of autism – every day is an investigation for him because of all the aspects of human life that he does not quite get. When the dog next door is killed with a garden fork, Christopher becomes quietly persistent in his desire to find out what has happened and tugs away at the world around him until a lot of secrets unravel messily.
The first time I started reading this book (I have just re-read it), I thought Christopher is a rude, troublesome kid, even worse – psychopath as a friend of mine called him. But that was only in the beginning. As I read on and learned more and more about Christopher and his way of thinking and the way his mind functions, my prejudices vanished making way for understanding.
Haddon’s writing in the first person point of view makes the readers put themselves into Christopher’s place and see the world as he does. In this way the problems he has to face become clear. The readers can see themselves from the opposite side, from the viewpoint of a person with Christopher’s disability and it may not be a nice sight. However, this is precisely the essence of Haddon’s book – to make the readers aware of their attitude towards people like Christopher, and, even more importantly, to make them open up to learning how to change their attitude and improve their interaction and relationships with autistic people.
Christopher’s story is also an inspiration for not letting a disability hinder a person’s life. Christopher does not give in to the stereotypes about what he is able or not able to do, he has dreams and plans, and he works hard to achieve them. He is a courageous person who surpasses his fears and difficulties to do what he decides to.
RECOMMENDATION: This book is a window into the world of an autistic person and a mirror to the rest of us at the same time. It is a very educational and inspiring book.