Firstly, I'd like to point out I have NOT read The Curious Incident.. but given the hype surrounding the author I was expecting big things.
To be honest, if this was his first book we probably wouldn't know who Mark Haddon is. I am not sure it would even get published. It doesn't mean it's a completely bad book - it will keep you hooked during that morning tube ride, but it doesn't stand out.
Considering the profoundness of the characters epiphanies you could think the author is ten years old. The style doesn't make you think otherwise as the sentences are connected by endless and... and.. and..
I know Haddon was going for wry and humourous but it's a tricky thing. He was definitely trying too hard and made me cringe quite often. He was also clearly abusing the word 'clearly'. The editor clearly changed some of the 'clearlys' to 'apparently' and 'obviously' but at least one 'clearly' per every other page made it through.
There were lots of cliff hangers achieved mostly by characters not having a mobile phone, not answering their mobile phone or forgetting their mobile phone. Not exactly very sophisticated.
On the other hand if Mark Haddon really is ten years old I'm changing my rating to four stars. It's just that I'd always thought that writers were supposed to write well. I was wrong. Clearly.
On a second thought, looking at the cover, I think we are to assume that some ten year olds were involved.