From the Publisher
Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with
Sherlock Holmes, this dazzling novel weaves together an
old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a
fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world
and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. Although
gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic.
Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for
him. At fifteen, Christopher's carefully constructed world falls
apart when he finds his neighbour's dog Wellington impaled on a
garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.
Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer, and
turns to his favourite fictional character, the impeccably logical
Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him
down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face
with the dissolution of his parents' marriage. As Christopher tries
to deal with the crisis within his own family, the narrative draws
readers into the workings of Christopher's mind.
And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon's choice
of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled
by a boy who cannot fathom emotions. The effect is dazzling, making
for one of the freshest debut in years: a comedy, a tearjerker, a
mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great
fun to read.
About the Author
Mark Haddon is a writer and illustrator of numerous award-winning
children's books and television screenplays. He teaches creative
writing for the Arvon Foundation and lives in Oxford, England.
1. How do you think this novel bridges the gap between
literature for adults and children?
2. What do you think Haddon''s illustrations add to the story
and to our understanding of Christopher''s character?
3. Although seemingly ill equipped as the narrator of a book,
Christopher''s character succeeds in eliciting a wide range of
emotions in the reader. How do you think Haddon uses his
protagonists voice to touch his audience in such a way?
4. Discuss the relationship between father and son in the novel.
How well do you think Christopher''s father copes with his son''s
5. The author has used his extensive knowledge of Asperger''s
syndrome to allow us to see the world through Christopher''s eyes,
how do you think the story further enhances our attachment to the
character and our enjoyment of the book in general?
6. How far do you think the author has used Christopher''s
alienating condition to expose intricate truths about our modern
lives? Do you think this was his intention in Christopher''s
exposure of his parent''s secret?
From the Hardcover edition.
Format: Trade Paperback
Published: May 18, 2004
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0385659806
ISBN - 13: 9780385659802