The author is Mark Haddon.

The Italian title is "Lo strano caso del cane ucciso a mezzanotte", which
is a little more informative than the English title, i.e. it says the dog
was bumped off in the middle of the night.

(If they had used such an explicit title in UK, Tony would have declared a
People's Day of Mourning for the Dog, and Blunkett would have declared a
National State of Emergency and had every dog's paw prints recorded, and
lost on a computer. A Scientific Commission of Enquiry might also have been
set up to discover the precise timing of the death, to report within five

The book - a work of fiction - is related in the supposed voice of a 15-
year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome, attending a school for children with
special needs. (Non-disabled children therefore shout "Special Needs!" as
an insult. If UK gets a bit more modern, presumably they will shout "Yah-ha

The boy's own remarks about children with physical disabilities, perhaps
articulating a covert public opinion, are rather contemptuous. However, he
is not portrayed as an expert on PC terminology. His views might have been
influenced by the fact that he does not like the smell or sight of other
people's excrement, and therefore cannot use the pupils' toilet at school,
which is liberally smeared with this product.

The language used by adults throughout the book is of a kind that could not
legally have been published in UK 40 years ago. The religious cursing may
have been tidied up in the Italian version, and the film version (in
progress) might, I suppose, use less of the procreational epithets for the
American market.

People with Asperger's who have, for years, been irritated by the Rain Man
being the standard reference point, can now look forward to 30 years of
being "understood" by complete strangers in terms of Christopher Boone, the
supposed Asperger hero of the Curious Incident. (However, in the film he'll
probably make Professor of Math at Cambridge, which he doesn't in the book).

Although the book has sold well in the UK, close textual analysis has been
delayed because everyone's copy has been loaned out by their partner to
someone at the office whose cousin has a child who might have Asperger's.


________________End of message______________________

Archives and tools for the Disability-Research Discussion List
are now located at:

You can JOIN or LEAVE the list from this web page.