The Curious Incident of the Suburban Baby Shower

April 8, 2013 Audio Books, Contemporary Fiction, Family, Mystery, Psychological 28

Hello My Bookworms,

I’ve had a busy weekend! I took a road trip back to my old stomping grounds to help my mom throw a baby shower for my sister. Now, I have a number of honorary nieces and nephews, and I love them all dearly. However, this will be my first go at biological Aunt-hood so it’s a pretty big deal. A couple of cool things happened (in addition to having a little visit with the one and only Quirky Chrissy.)

My Aunt Margie lives in Texas, which is far away from Illinois (I say this because I have no concept of the distance between Sydney and Melbourne, and some of my readers are in Australia. I’m being geographically sensitive.) She couldn’t make it to the shower. However, she mailed a gift, and I KNOW she must have been thinking of me when she picked out this bad boy:

Aunt Margie will be this baby's Great Aunt. She is cool. I am obviously cool. And penguins? The coolest.

Aunt Margie will be this baby’s Great Aunt. She is cool. I am obviously cool. And penguins? The coolest.

That was pretty amazing. A family friend got my future nephew a penguin path toy that blows bubbles, which is fantastic. BUT! Aunt Katie got a bath toy, too! Remember me discussing my punny cousin Adam? Well. Being 13 he was much too cool to come to the baby shower (which I totally gave him crap for, but I’m still really nice and sent him some cake.) HOWEVER, his little sister Dana was in attendance. I have somehow convinced these children that I am cool (please don’t tell them otherwise.) Dana brought me THIS:

I love this kid. Not just because she brings me presents. She's a cool kid. She also has these AMAZING freckles which are beyond adorable.

I love this kid. Not just because she brings me presents. She’s a rocking kid. She also has these AMAZING freckles that are beyond adorable.

I am plum tuckered out. The good news is that I don’t mind road trips- road trips mean audio books! This trip’s selection was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon. I have been meaning to read this book for years and for whatever reason I hadn’t gotten around to it. I’m a little annoyed with myself that it took so long, because this book was SO GOOD!

Christopher Boone is a 15 year old boy. His exact diagnosis is never given, but it is clear the he has some form of Autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Christopher narrates the story. He explains in very clear language exactly how the world appears to him and why he reacts certain ways to certain situations. Christopher’s story begins one night while he’s taking an evening walk past his neighbor’s house. He discovers the neighbor’s dog, Wellington, has been murdered.


When the neighbor discovers Christopher holding her dog’s body, she calls the police. After a difficult trip to the police station (the police officer couldn’t have known of Christopher’s violent reactions to touches) Christopher begins to fixate on solving the mystery of Wellington’s demise. It’s awfully tough to be a detective when speaking to a stranger terrifies you. When an unexpected touch can leave you on the floor covering your ears and moaning for hours to regain your composure. When seeing four yellow cars in a row can send you into an emotional tailspin.

At first, I was concerned that I was missing something because the audio book kept jumping around with chapters. I was concerned there were full chapters of diagrams or illustrations I was missing… However. Christopher explains a bit later that he’s chosen the chapter numbers because they are prime numbers. In order. He’s very good at “maths” (because British people make “math” plural.) I loved the sensation of being inside Christopher’s brain. The way that nuance and facial expression are foreign to him. Can you imagine how confusing it would be living in a world that just didn’t understand how your brain worked? In some ways I could relate to Christopher’s anxieties. Being in crowded public places can get under my skin, and changes in my environment have been known to rattle me. While my anxieties may be considered on the neurotic side of “normal,” poor Christopher’s reactions are far more intense. I’m going to be SO GOOD and not fill this review with spoilers, but I think you should read it. The audio book version was fantastic, I really dug the accents!

Tell me Bookworms, have any of you read this? What did you think?

28 Responses to “The Curious Incident of the Suburban Baby Shower”

  1. Megan M.

    I read this a few years ago. I agree – it’s great! I love unconventional narrators when they’re really well done. Have you read The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin? It’s another one with an autistic narrator that I really enjoyed.

    My fave part of Curious Incident is when he defends Marilyn Vos Savant. I loved her Parade column and I remembered that whole debacle. I’ve been meaning to read more of Haddon’s stuff.

    • Words for Worms

      I rather enjoyed the defense too! I also liked the description of London’s tube because I’ve been there and it made me feel worldly to be able to nod in recognition…

  2. Sarah Says Read

    Gahhhh I hate when people say “maths” in books. I read a physics book by a British guy and he kept saying “maths”. That coupled with the fact that the book was TERRIBLE at explaining things just drove me nuts. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

    Yay for Aunt-hood! As I don’t plan on having kids, being an aunt is the BEST! Especially when they’re itty bitty babies and all tiny and cute and don’t walk or talk yet :-p

    I read this ages ago and remember really liking it. Seeing how confusing everyday interactions were for that kid was so interesting, and a little heartbreaking. This actually makes me want to re-read it sometime soon, cause I think I read it before I even started blogging… OH HEY that can go on my Top Ten Tuesday list for tomorrow! Score.

    • Words for Worms

      Aunt-hood rocks. All the fun parts, none of the rotten stuff. This book was fascinating and heartbreaking all at the same time. Glad to give you TTT fodder, because I’m at a bit of a loss for tomorrow…

  3. therelentlessreader

    Being an Aunt is simply the BEST. I have three nephews that..oh my word, they just light up my life and make me smile and all sorts of other good things. 🙂

    Curious is a fab book, I’m glad you got to it!

    • Words for Worms

      Oh yes, my new little nephew will be spoiled absolutely rotten. I’m considering making youtube videos of myself reading bedtime stories for his enjoyment. I do the voices, so it’s a very good time.

  4. Jen (Me Woman You Man)

    Loved that book! And congratulations on becoming an aunt. My niece and nephew are French-speaking, and when they call and say “Allo matante Jen!” it warms my heart like nothing else!

  5. The Glass Bangle

    I read this book quite a long time ago, but Christopher has stayed with me. Like you’ve mentioned, getting into his brain was fascinating. A really good read.

  6. Ashley F

    I loved this book too. I read it a few years ago and loved that because of the format, you got a really good idea of what it’s like in this kids head. Fantastic book. Sadly the author turned out to be a one hit wonder. He’s got other books but nothing that’s been of note.

  7. Akilah

    I assigned that book to my class and found it kind of hard to get into. But then the end (the last sentence, I think) almost made me cry, so I count it as super good.

    Congrats on the great presents! And the baby, too, I guess. Haha.

  8. milobaines

    I’m also on Texas this weekend… which isn’t even remotely surprising considering I live here. You came during good weather and I hope you enjoyed our state.

  9. Serafina Bear

    Wow! I can’t imagine being in a brain like the one you’re describing… how interesting! I work with the mentally ill, so this would prolly hit very close to home, with some parts sad and hard, and other parts funny in a lovinh and human way. Thank you for the review!

    • Words for Worms

      Oh definitely! If you work with anyone whose brain operates differently than “standard,” it would totally resonate. You’ll have to let me know how you like it!

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