The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

by Mark Haddon

Doubleday Canada | May 18, 2004 | Trade Paperback

4.3898 out of 5 rating. 118 Reviews
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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 emotions.

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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 240 pages, 8.02 × 5.14 × 0.64 in

Published: May 18, 2004

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385659806

ISBN - 13: 9780385659802

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– More About This Product –

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

by Mark Haddon

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 240 pages, 8.02 × 5.14 × 0.64 in

Published: May 18, 2004

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385659806

ISBN - 13: 9780385659802

Read from the Book

It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears’ house. Its eyes were closed. It looked as if it was running on its side, the way dogs run when they think they are chasing a cat in a dream. But the dog was not running or asleep. The dog was dead. There was a garden fork sticking out of the dog. The points of the fork must have gone all the way through the dog and into the ground because the fork had not fallen over. I decided that the dog was probably killed with the fork because I could not see any other wounds in the dog and I do not think you would stick a garden fork into a dog after it had died for some other reason, like cancer for example, or a road accident. But I could not be certain about this. I went through Mrs Shears’ gate, closing it behind me. I walked onto her lawn and knelt beside the dog. I put my hand on the muzzle of the dog. It was still warm. The dog was called Wellington. It belonged to Mrs Shears who was our friend. She lived on the opposite side of the road, two houses to the left. Wellington was a poodle. Not one of the small poodles that have hairstyles but a big poodle. It had curly black fur, but when you got close you could see that the skin underneath the fur was a very pale yellow, like chicken. I stroked Wellington and wondered who had killed him, and why. 3 My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and their capital cities and e
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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 emotions.

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.

Editorial Reviews

“The book gave me that rare, greedy feeling of: this is so good I want to read it all at once but I mustn’t or it will be over too soon. Haddon pulls off something extraordinary . . .” -- The Observer “Always surprising and often hilarious.” -- The Globe and Mail “One of the most affecting things I’ve read in years . . . it’s brilliant.” -- The Guardian “Mark Haddon’s new novel comes with glowing endorsements from Ian McEwan and Oliver Sacks . . . For once, the pundits speak the truth.” -- The Economist “A stark, funny and original first novel . . . [with] one of the strangest and most convincing characters in recent fiction.” -- The New York Times Book Review “A brilliant autism novel has been overdue -- and this is it! The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time . Mark Haddon shows great insight into the autistic mind, and he brings his young narrator protagonist quite wonderfully to life. I found it very moving, very plausible -- and very funny.” -- Oliver Sacks, author of Uncle Tungsten "I have never read anything quite like Mark Haddon''s funny and agonizingly honest book, or encountered a narrator more vivid and memorable. I advise you to buy two copies; you won’t want to lend yours out." -- Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha “ The Curious Incident brims with imagination, empathy, and vision -- plus it''s a lot of fun to read.” -- M
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Bookclub Guide

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 condition?

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?




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