A Curious Book

People in my line of work are often proud of their geek credentials. Being unpopular, awkward, and antisocial is something to be celebrated, as these qualities are thought to make one a better programmer.

This state of affairs has progressed to the point where some programmers actually envy people with Asberger’s Syndrome.

An Asperger’s diagnosis has acquired a kind of mystic status in the geek world. It’s become the kind of thing people boast about on programmer mailing lists, and will probably soon be included on programmers’ résumés .

I do not have Aspergers, but I am a geek, and I can kind of relate to some of the symptoms, albeit in a very watered-down sort of way. At the very least, I am sometimes awkward, goofy, and frequently obsessed with strange and obscure things.

My sister works with Autistic children as part of her job, and she thinks this whole phenomemon of computer geeks worshiping a neurological disorder is kind of stupid.

One of her co-workers loaned a book to her, which she, in turn loaned to me. It’s a story of a mildly Autistic boy named Christopher who is trying to investigate the death of a neighborhood dog.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The book is called The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time. It’s a lot of fun to read. Once I got started reading it, I had a hard time stopping, and ripped through it in about 3 afternoons. When I was finished I wished that there was more to the story, but there wasn’t.

The writing is beautiful.

Siobhan said we have to use those words [“learning disabled” and “special needs”] because people used to call children like the children at my school spaz, and crip and mong, which were nasty words. But that is stupid too because sometimes the children from the school down the road see us in the street when we’re getting off the bus and they shout “Special Needs! Special Needs!” But I don’t take any notice because I don’t listen to what other people say and only stick and stones can break my bones and I have my Swiss Army knife if they hit me and if I kill them it will be in self defense and I won’t go to prison.

The whole book is written like this. It seems like it would get monotonous, but it doesn’t.

The author/narrator likes prime numbers, so the chapters are numbered 2,3,5,7,11… etc. This makes it feel like you’ve read a great deal more than you have, especially towards chapter 233.

I give The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 5 Jihadis out of 5.

5 Jihadis out of 5
5 Jihadis out of 5

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