I loved this book.
This book is written through the eyes and pen of autistic 15-year old Christopher, our protagonist. It made me laugh, tear up, made me exasperated, made me angry. It was an emotion-palooza. I don't know many autistic children. I know a parent or two with an autistic child, but have never met those children. I've seen the t.v. shows dealing with children with autism and have a read a bit on it. Mr. Haddon does a fantastic job of writing from the mindset of a child with quirks and rules galore; Christopher hates yellow and brown. He won't eat, wear, touch or even likes to look at anything with those colors. He loves prime numbers; the chapters are not numbered 1, 2, 3. They're numbered 2, 3, 7, 11, 13, etc. There are drawings and doodles, showing us Christopher's mindset as he tries to solve the murder of the neighbor's dog and gets a lot more than WE bargained for. He pretty much takes it all in stride.
Mr. Haddon makes you feel all the range of emotions that I am sure parents of these children feel every day, every hour, minute, second. Christopher's parents get angry - when they are at the end of their rope, they scream, throw things, slam things and leave the room. I could only imagine, through Mr. Haddon's writing, how hard, painful and heart wrenching it must be.
I loved Christopher's innocence, and then would whisper "oh brother" when he'd do something that was to me, off the wall. To me. Therein lies the problem. It really is not his problem; it's mine, and all those around him who don't understand him and want to call him a spazz, or a freak, or an idiot.
It's a sad, sweet tale of a boy who sees things through his very own set of strict rules and regulations, set for him by his own slightly different brain.