A Curious Tale Sep 23, 2011
This is an unusual story, told through the eyes of a 15 year old boy, who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome. Once I had checked out the nature of this illness, I cautiously began reading.
The action begins with the discovery of the body of a neighbour's dog with a garden fork sticking out of it and Christopher, our protagonist, decides to don his metaphorical deerstalker and unmask the killer. This is the beginning of a journey that will lead to a surprising revelation and turn his world upside down.
Christopher lives with his father, his mother having died of heart problems some years earlier, and because of his illness, he attends a special school. His symptoms include dislike of certain colours, being touched, various foods, and mostly strangers and strange places. His father disapproves of his detective work, and there are arguments between the two on this and other subjects.
Being a stickler for detail, Christopher interviews the neighbours about the killing, but treads on a few toes and further upsets his father, which leads to the confiscation of his notebook containing all of his clues and notes, which is thrown into the rubbish bin. Once his father has left the house, he looks in the bin to retrieve his notes, but the notebook is not there. He searches the house and eventually finds the notebook in a box in his father's room, but there is more than his notebook in the box, and he makes a shocking discovery which forces him to make a long journey on his own.
The many explanatory drawings, tables and diagrams help to explain Christopher's view of life and how he deals with the day to day trials and tribulations he comes across and the processes he has been taught, and which he has taught himself, to deal with his illness.
An excellent book, and a worthy winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year in 2003.