Finished The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which is wonderful and sad and funny and unique. Christopher is a compelling narrator for so many reasons - his autism (Asperger's Syndrome) means he's more of a reporter of the events surrounding him, so it places the reader at a distance from what he's seeing, as if we are inside his (unusual) mind. However, we have an understanding of these events that he doesn't have. The account of his parent's relationship is startlingly moving, as, although Christopher can't put things into an emotional context, we can. And although he doesn't feel one way or the other about it, we do. He watches, he listens, he remembers, but he only sees and hears what's on the surface. He can relay an argument he hears his parents have word for word, but he doesn't know why they are arguing or what the argument means, and he doesn't care. But the reader knows that Christopher is the very reason his parent's relationship broke down. He is easy to care about, but it's impossible not to pity the people in his life who do.
Autism is fascinating. My brother has autistic qualities: very logical, gifted in maths, likes to collect things, hates being touched, hates change, likes only certain foods, doesn't like going to new places, lacks social skills, the list goes on. In most ways, he's the opposite of me, but then, autism tends to be a more male phenomenon (or, as the seminar I went to the other week asserted, "an extreme of the male brain"). That said, he gets many of his autistic traits from my mother, and my father and I are the people people.
This is a maths problem from Curious Incident, which I love, because it's a total mind fuck and I still don't quite get it although I think I sort of might:
I also love it because the person with the highest IQ in the world, according to the Guiness Book of Records, is a woman! Yeah baby.