I spent the next few hours burning through Curious Incident and I've determined that it's something I should have read sooner.
I don't know why I hesitated. Maybe because of something Nick Hornby said in The Polysyllabic Spree about being unsure about it. Something about whether or not it fairly represents autisum spectrum disorders.
I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the narrator, 15 year old Christopher, is clearly painted as a savant, and everything in the story works out quite well in the end, which is, if not unrealistic, then certainly unlikely, but nonetheless, I liked the book.
Haddon's writing is crisp without being simple. Christopher's internal voice (even if you think of him as a teenager and take the Austism/Asperger thing out of the equation) is completely believable. The stream of consciousness style narrative is punctuated by bits of well-crafted dialogue and plenty of dramatic and suspensful moments, which provides a bit of relief. And all in all, it's just good stuff.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time won both the Boeke Prize and the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year award, and was a major bestseller. Haddon has expressed annoyance at all the hoopla surrounding whether or not the text paints an accurate picture of anyone in the autism spectrum - he says he's not an expert - but I'd suggest you put that out of your mind.
Haddon iis an expert at expressing the mind of the teenager. Readers who dislike YA stories or youthful perspectives might not take to this book easily (though it's not a YA novel), but I'd recommend it to almost anyone else.