The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Paperback | May 18, 2004

byMark Haddon

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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.

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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 super...

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.

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The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time
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The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time (sparknotes Literature Guide)
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time (spar...

Paperback|Feb 4 2014

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see all books by Mark Haddon
Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8 × 5.1 × 0.7 inPublished:May 18, 2004Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385659806

ISBN - 13:9780385659802

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from In My Top 5 I can't speak for the accuracy of the portrayal of autism in this book because I have little experience with it, but this is one of my favourite books of all time. Do yourself a favour and read it. Totally unique and a wonderfully told story.
Date published: 2015-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing from beginning to end. I was sad when I finished this book because I no longer got to spend time with Christopher Boone. This book is quick, funny and the themes and humour stay with you for a lifetime. I still smile when I think about statements vs. questions and the innocence with which Christopher lives his life. I don't often read books twice - but, I've just decided to read this one again.
Date published: 2014-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Yes! So deceptively simple. So witty. So enthralling. I have to say, it's probably the best who-dunnit. Ever.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't waste your time. Ugh. Where do I begin...? I am autistic, I have Aspergers. I found out that a few of my friends were reading this book for an English assignment whereas my English class was doing The Chrysalids. I decided to take a look as it had an autistic protagonist and to be honest those are hard to find. I didn't find an autistic protagonist. What I found was what I imagine is the WebMD/Autism Speaks/Wikipedia/black-and-white definition of Aspergers. Christopher was not a compelling character, he was a slapped-together jumble of offensive stereotypes. Christopher was 15 but reading the book I would have assumed he was much younger, which perpetuates the stereotype of autistics being immature. There are many other harmful stereotypes in this book, but this one is most prevalent as it is seen throughout the entire text. I could go on. I could seriously rant about this for hours but honestly I don't want to waste any more time on this book than I already have. If you have no respect for the autistic community, go ahead and read the book. If you believe that we are human beings deserving of respect, representation and love, I wouldn't spend money or time on this waste of paper.
Date published: 2014-06-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Yes! An easy read that takes you on a journey with an autistic boy, Christopher. Much is uncovered about Christopher's family as he slowly begins to uncover things about himself and what he is capable of.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It's alright plot wasn't as good as I expected it to be
Date published: 2014-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well Done This book was just so well done! I loved how the story unfolded, and I just LOVED how Christopher told the story. At first I was a little worried about the point of view, but it really did make the story perfect. Even though Christopher didn't understand emotions, you could really feel what his parents felt through his "writing".
Date published: 2013-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Changed My Perspective Christopher is a funny, nice and intelligent autistic child. He’s very involved in school and always tries his hardest. He means to be nice but sometimes comes off as a rude person. Chris is a very relatable person to me because he puts his all into everything he does. For example, Christopher found out his mother was still alive and wouldn’t give up until he got all the way to London to see her. Chris was rewarded for his hard work by finally meeting his mom. Christopher has a history of violent actions but unfortunately he succumbed to his illness. For example, in one section of the book Christopher is standing over Wellington’s dead body and the police officer came, when he touched Christopher on the shoulder they got into a little brawl. Chris like most autistic people they don't like to be touched by everyone so he reacted by fighting back. Christopher also has an anxiety problem as do most autistic children. I also have severe anxiety but over the past two years it’s completely disappeared. For example, there is a scene where Christopher is inside the train station and he hears the obnoxious noise that trains make but he thinks that it’s people fighting with swords, so he gets scared and curls into a ball. I remember one time when I was really young and was in a huge throng in the mall and started crying because of the people so I understand what he's going through. The message that the author is trying to send to the readers is that autistic people are no different from us. They are just as smart, articulate and very caring people. People think that people with disabilities are indifferent about everything, stupid, uninformed and have little to no feelings. The truth is the exact opposite, and they are smart.For example, Christopher passed A level academic university math at the top of his class. This means Christopher could get into almost any university near him. Christopher does consistent Math and English work to improve on his abilities. My point is, is that the author is My overall opinion of the book is that it’s a very interesting book because of the different perspective. I like how you follow around Christopher and his thoughts because you can see how you would react and how he reacts and compare them.. Another thing I like about the book is how you see Christopher develops ideas. For example, Christopher because he see’s the world differently than us. For example, when there are 4 red cars in a row on the street he thinks it’s going to be a bad day. My main problem with the book is that it jumps all over the place when you're reading it making it really hard to follow. Furthermore in one part of the book Christopher is talking about how much he misses his mother than out of nowhere goes into talking about how a book has moved two inches in his room when no one was home. The best audience for this book would be our age group because we are at the most judgemental age and this would help show that people with disabilities aren’t any different from any of us. After reading this book I have a completely different perspective on autistic people. Lastly, My final impression of the book is that it’s a very compelling and beneficial because the book shows the more personal side of an autistic person and will change many perspectives to the people who read it. It gets you very involved into the plot because you grow an emotional attachment to Christopher because you want him to succeed.
Date published: 2013-01-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from School summative The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time By Abbey Davidson This book is about a fifteen-year-old boy named Christmas Boone. It takes place in Swindon, England. He has a learning disability that affects 1 in 88 children. He is Autistic, however Christopher is very smart. He knows all his prime numbers up to 7,057. In the beginning of the book, Christopher takes a midnight stroll as he normally does. A long the way he sees Mrs. Shears dog, Wellington, lying in her front lawn. He then realizes the dog’s dead. Mrs. Shears soon finds Christopher and calls the police. In a mishap they believe Christopher did it. But they soon unveil he didn’t. They left him go with a stern warning and told him not to further investigating. He carries on anyway. He conducts interviews with people from his block. He then finds out his father and Mrs. Shears had a romantic affair. He then finds out it was a reaction from another relationship, one between his supposedly dead mother and Mr. Shears. One afternoon after school Christopher comes home and leaves his book in plain sight on the kitchen table. He father reads it, becomes angry and takes it from Chris. Later on, he finds letters from his dead mother about she and Mr. Shears are living in London. His father finds Christopher passed out with all this shocking evidence. He apologizes for his lies and tries to explain he did it to protect Chris. Ed, Christopher’s father, also admits to killing Wellington. Christopher, now terrified of his father, sneaks away and travels to London to live with his mom. But as friction builds between Jude, Christopher’s mother, and Mr. Shears. She decides to leave him and return to Swindon. They move into an apartment and Christopher receives regular visits from his father. One of the many themes in this book has to be about coping with loss. Due to the fact that he “loss” his mother, his neighbour’s dog and his rat Toby. He still gets through it all. Although he still thinks about it and his memory is amazing. Even at such a young age of losing his mom he still remembers the little things about her, such as she was a small person, smelled nice and was a smoker. The author’s message was that even though it’s not based on a true story. The subject matter is very real. The author, in the past, has worked with autistic children. He did a good job at giving the reader a glimpse into Autism. My overall impression of the book, it was okay. I didn’t like how Christopher would get off topic and ramble on. I however, don’t like to read. But nevertheless the book was interesting. It made me rethink what I thought about Autism.
Date published: 2013-01-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from School Summative The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was not written to seek sympathy for the people that suffer from autism, but it definitely taught me a few things. The book is told by a autistic boy who is 15 years old. It is about him finding his neighbours dead dog and then accused for killing him. Later he discovers about the truth about his parents. Christopher Boone is a 15-year-old autistic boy who takes everything literally and approaches life with a mindset that is remarkably abstract. He likes structure and he’s an animal lover. He is not deceitful or misleading and is in fact a very truthful and innocent character. To me, Christopher is not relatable because my thinking process is a little different. Even though we are both animal lovers he is much more innocent than me in a sense. The themes that the author is trying to get across is the struggle to become independent. Christopher is learning to care for himself and later on in the book he becomes more independent. I do think that the author delivered the message effectively. My evaluation of the book is that it was very different style than I’ve read because an autistic boy told it and it was written in a diary style format with illustrations. It was slow moving because Christopher was very descriptive and would rant on when he was narrating. My overall impression of this book is that we are able to see the world and social connections through the eyes of an outsider and the disorder of life. We are invited to think about autistic people in a new way. I recommend this book to people who want a better understanding of autism.
Date published: 2013-01-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Read for school It wasn't the worst book that I have had to read but not the greatest. This book was told by a 15 year old autistic boy which did make it a little more interesting. I think he could have done without all the little pictures inside, they made it seem as though you were reading a first graders novel. I also think the ending could have been made a little more interesting as well.
Date published: 2012-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very unique Point of View The fifteen year old narrator of this book, Christopher Boone, is autistic. One night, he discovers the neighbour's dog dead, a pitchfork lodged in its chest. From that moment on, Christopher is determined to find the dog's killer, but along the way, we, the readers, get to enjoy a fascinating look into the mind of this wonderful young man. He has very peculiar habits (he dislikes everything yellow & brown, hates to be touched, and never lies) but loves math, and is able to resolve complex and almost impossible mathematical problems. However, his journey to find the dog's killer takes him out of his comfort zone, and clearly on the path to some of the sad truths about his life. I really got involved with this novel, and read it every second I could spare it. But not only is Christopher fascinating, so too are his desperate father who clearly is doing his best to keep things together after losing Christopher's mom, and the many 'strangers' Christopher meets while en route to the killer's identity. While the boy may think this is a murder mystery novel, it is a novel of discovery, truth and reality all rolled into one. Brilliant.
Date published: 2012-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I couldn't put this book down. It really gets you into the mindset of an autistic person, and helps you understand why they do and say the things they do. I loved it.
Date published: 2012-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beyond the Spectrum Mark Haddon did an excellent job of writing this compelling story featuring the autistic protagonist on the bumpy road to independence. A strong sense of mystery was incorporated regarding the murder of Wellington along with the ongoing adventure, struggles, and coming of age of Christopher John Francis Boone. The difficulties and experiences of living with autism spectrum disorder (Asperger's syndrome) are highlighted through Christopher's point of view. This gives the reader an interesting, uncommonly experienced perception of the world through new eyes. I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for a unique, quick read filled with mystery and comic relief.
Date published: 2012-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating This book was absolutely fascinating and gave me a perspective on autism that I never had before. It was incredibly creative and cleverly written and not only is it enjoyable, but a book that everyone could benefit from reading.
Date published: 2012-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Wonderful! This novel provides an amazing story about a young boy embarking on a new adventure that leads him to solving different type of mysteries that he faces. The main character's action displays courage, bravery, determination and hope. This allows readers to either relate to the main character or learn from the main character the strength to never give up and to always have a goal in life that you can accomplish. The novel was worth reading, the characters quest to solve the mystery of who murdered his neighbor's beloved dog touched my heart to the very core of it. Readers you will not be go wrong if you decide to read this novel, it will take you to whole new place that you have never been to before. I don't have any bad comments about this book at all. My favourite thing about this books is that fact that the main character is sharing a lot about himself with the readers, which is allowing us readers to greatly learn about him and his hobbies.
Date published: 2011-12-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautifully Written WARNING: May contain spoilers! The first half of this novel was amazing. It started at the right foot, introducing us to Christopher Boone who has an autistic spectrum syndrome, and his quest to find Wellington, his neighbour's dog's, murderer. It continued to be intriguing as the reader begins to get to know who Christopher is exactly. For example, his little quirks, his views, his love of red and prime numbers, and his hatred for the colour yellow. We get to know him and we get to glimpse how exactly he works. He is intelligent and practical, but he functions solely with logic and not emotion. It is the first time I have read a novel with such a different type of protagonist. I was hooked instantly. I loved how the chapters were prime numbers and not numbered typically like other novels. I enjoyed how the novel seemed completely written by Christopher Boone, even the Appendix at the end of the book. I really enjoyed the consistency in the novel. It also interested me how Christopher, with his autistic tendencies, would figure out who killed Wellington. I even began to make up a way he would solve it and who the prime suspect was, etc., etc. Once I hit the middle of the novel though, I was extremely disappointed, not necessarily because of the content or writing, but because I was expecting something completely different from what it was. I didn’t expect a full-blown family drama. The reader is unceremoniously told who killed Wellington and it almost comes as a shock because the reader is not expecting to be told who the culprit is already. I was disappointed because the last half of the book was about Christopher making his way to London, being scared and going back home instead of being the awesome adventure of Christopher Boone trying to find a murderer. This is, however, a small little thing compared to the big picture. I can still appreciate what the author has done with this novel. He has created something completely real, something that does happen, a character that exists right now. Christopher is real. At least he seems real to me. The way the novel is written makes you believe that it really is written by a Christopher Boone, and I guess that makes it more heartbreaking. The way Haddon has downplayed the emotions in the book, never really describing how someone looks as they are speaking, what they sound like, etc. gives the reader the feeling of what Christopher sees every day. It broke my heart to read the way everyone around him acted, how his family falls apart at the seams under all the stress of his being autistic. It hit me that wherever he went, the pressure of taking care of him would break any family who was not strong enough to handle it. And this is what happened; once with his original parents, and again with his biological mother’s new partner. It is a reality, however, that many autistic children face. It is genuine and sincere, and I was left almost dumbstruck at the end at how apathetically it ended. It is an eye-opening, creative, and highly entertaining book, yet it does not let you understand the protagonist. Never do you completely and utterly agree and nod your head at what Christopher says; you are only able to watch Christopher from a farther place and see what he sees, agreeing sometimes and others not. And, I guess, in this way, Haddon has done a great job of writing this novel. He has taken you inside a person who could exist, and who you could encounter walking down the street and has forced you to face them even though it may make you feel uncomfortable. However, I am still disappointed that it was not, initially, what I expected. Nevertheless, I do recommend it a great deal to anyone who can deal with a character you cannot relate to, and those who can tolerate no emotional growth, because really, that is not what Christopher’s story is about, nor is it what Haddon had in mind when writing this novel.
Date published: 2011-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable and quick to read 15-year old Christopher is autistic. One night he finds a neighbour’s dog, murdered, in the neighbour’s yard. Christopher decides to investigate and figure out who killed the dog, and to write a book about his investigation (this book). Ultimately, this causes a chain reaction of family issues to come to light. I really liked it. I liked the way it was written, the way Christopher would have written it – logical, straightforward, to the point, just the way his mind works. It was enjoyable and quick to read.
Date published: 2010-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A uniquely written novel Written from the first-person perspective of a 15 year old boy suffering from autism, the prose of Curious Incident is is at first glance juvenile and simple; but Haddon has captured the unique struggles of autism so well that while we may not understand his actions we can sympathize. The mystery of the dog itself is also very interesting in the way it plays out
Date published: 2010-07-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Nothing Special, boring This book was written very poorly, even if it is from the perspective of an autistic boy. The mystery parts were interesting, but the killer is revealed in the middle of the book. I was so happy to put it down. This should be classified as juvenile.
Date published: 2010-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny while still being poignant Another great read. Just love Mark Haddon's style, very dry but still incredibly moving. The humour engages you. Took a bit to be completely taken in but I was totally gripped by the end of the 1st third of the book.
Date published: 2010-04-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Certainly Different By appropriating the consciousness of an autistic child to narrate his story, Mark Haddon has certainly given a unique style to his work. In fact, he allows the reader to learn about the state of mind of an autistic, and his perception of the world that we all live in. Moreover, the fact that Mark Haddon usually writes stories for children probably helped make this story as realistic as possible. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is definitly a book to read.
Date published: 2010-04-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Something different It is a really easy book to read. It is also very different from other books I have read. This different made the book really interesting. I would read this book again a few more times.
Date published: 2009-12-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Different I enjoyed this book, it was quick to read, and had a very unique point of view. It was interesting to see things from this perspective.
Date published: 2009-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating Novel The novel - the curious incident of the dog in the night-time narrates a story about an autistic boy called Christopher struggling to find out the murderer who has killed his neighbour's dog. In the process of investigating on this task, Christopher has unexpectedly discovered some secrets and truths, which are the main facts that result in the dramatic change of his personalities and his life. After I have perused the novel and read other people's reviews, I feel that I have had a better insight of my novel and a better understanding of the deep implications that are hidden in this novel. In this novel, it can be seen that the author is very meticulous. In order to introduce to the readers how an autistic boy is like, the author has depicted many details such as"Christopher's eating preferences, literal thinking, sensory difficulties and math facts" to the readers. With the assistance of these detailed descriptions, the readers can get a deeper understanding of autism and how to interact with them. I also adore the way the author creates this story. By reading the novel, I find out that the author not only gets some inspiration from the events that have happened surrounded by him to frame his own story, but also uses his luxuriant imaginations to beautify and enrich his story. As we all know, "every literary hero or heroine is not an exact replica of a true life man or woman". Therefore, an appropriate combination of both the real events and the imagination can make the story more appealing, interesting and fascinating, which can arouse the reader's interests to read on. In the novel, there are several main themes, for instance Christopher's spirit of persistence in finding out the murderer, his mother's true love to him and so on. However, after I have read some readers' reviews, another major theme, which is that never give up your interests, has been found out. A famous woman with autism named Dr. Temple Grandin once said:" When an autistic person has a special interest, we are to nurture it and it may be their career one day". In the story, Christopher is an expert in maths and he takes AP maths course. Although, there are some problems with his mentality, he never gives up his interest in maths. In the end, the high mark in maths helps Christopher enroll into the university, which is also a bridge towards his dream of becoming an astronaut. To sum up, I really like this story and I would like to recommend this novel to all the readers who enjoy reading. From this novel, I have learnt plenty of knowledge regarding the autism and I think that it is really a pleasure to read this novel.
Date published: 2009-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Some pleasureable elements of this great piece!!!(UHS) “This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them” (Haddon, P.8). “The curious incident of the dog in the night time” written by Mark Haddon, is a tale full of witty surprises and insightful. The author has created a whole new perspective for us readers, to perceive the world in a totally different dimension, by creating the main character- Christopher Boone. He is an autistic child, trying to explore the mysterious murder of a neighborhood’s poodle. Unlike any murder mystery, this book used a first person narrative way to portray Chris’s observation and feelings, allowing readers to slowly delve into the thoughts and vision of those very different from us, in the mean time, filling our imagination to the fullest. There is a chapter, in which Christopher explained why he finds people confusing.”…people do a lot of talking without using any words.”(Haddon P.14) and “people often talk using metaphors” (Haddon P.15). While suggesting that metaphors confuse him, he also mentions that his name is a metaphor as well. He very much dislikes it because “I want my name to mean me” (Haddon P.16). The author created a really strong tone for Christopher, whereas the overall all mood of the story was normal, which, in a way, can be so relevant, for the reason that autistic people are not good at expressing themselves. Therefore, by doing so, we are able to interpret ourselves, into his urge of realization to his own existence, as well as more thorough understanding of what it is like, being autistic. “Lots of things are mysteries. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer to them. It’s just that scientists haven’t found the answer yet” (Haddon P.100). Christopher’s perceptions with thing that he interacts with are strictly mathematical and logical. Throughout the story, Haddon had did a magnificent job, besides precisely describing many of Christopher’s inner conflict with what he thinks, he has also established a foil, that is not between characters, yet between us and Chris▬The contrary of how we think. I’ve pretty much fallen in love with this work of art, unable to put it down once I’ve started. This is one of the most lovely and eccentric literature that I can rarely find. Reading Haddon’s punctilious details to every part of the novel allowed me to grasp an out of ordinary perspective one’s could have in life. I’ve truly been amused by Haddon’s marvelous writing, I really adore the fact that how he can write in his point of view, so delicately detailed in a strong tone and how he has included those interesting arithmetic and kooky illustration, which has created a special personality to this book, and I think it is absolutely remarkable . I feel like I can somehow relate myself with Christopher in the story, since I’m a lefty, sometimes, I do feel a bit more special than others, and I’ve also heard of different myths saying that lefties deals with things in a more “odd” or different, I suppose, and I do think that is true. This is a bit like Christopher, how his unique attitude made him special and differ him from others. Even though, he acts in such an odd way that any of us can hardly understand his actions, I do believe that the author also tries to bring out the message that everyone in this world is unique, and each of us has different abilities. We do have to appreciate that this is what makes us stand as an individual in this world, and how we influence each other. I think I will read this book over, because it is so insightful and I love how I got all these thoughts and reflection to think over.
Date published: 2009-04-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Fantastic Read What a great read! The book is very well written and it gives the reader a very accurate idea of what it is like to be an autistic kid through the protagonist. I felt compassion for the kid. It's quite fun to read and very easy to follow. It's a real page-turner. Visit my book blog at bambireads.blogspot.com for more reviews.
Date published: 2009-04-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Prime Reasons Why I Enjoyed Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time 2. Death broken down into its molecular importance. 3. Clouds, with chimneys and aerials impressed upon them, and their potential as alien space crafts. 5. Black Days and Yellow cars. 7. Red food coloring for Indian cuisine. 11. Christopher's love of The Hound of the Baskervilles, and his disdain for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 13. Wondering throughout how I wasn’t diagnosed as autistic when I was a kid. 17. The patience of Siobhan 19. Father’s frustration, and Father's love. 23. “I reasoned that....” 29. Metaphors are lies and similes are not. 31. Fanning out the fingers and touching them as an expression of love. 37. Christopher punches a policeman and later decides he doesn't like policeman much after all. 41. My empathy for Father's pain. 43. Father admitting one of his “crimes” before he could be caught. 47. Mystification through demystification. 53. Did I mention Christopher? 59. A Level Maths. 61. The London Underground as a scary, thrilling adventure. 67. Toby the rat. 71. Wellington forked. 73. The book has yet to be discovered by Oprah. 79. Behavioral Problems 83. Maps 89. Prime numbers = Prime chapters
Date published: 2009-04-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from already read it I really liked this one because it was such a unique point of view. I love it when a new style is introduced. This twists and turns this novel takes made it a great and gripping story.
Date published: 2008-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from endearing and well told Mark Haddon once worked with children who had autism and my mother does too. When I read this book it was wonderful to see things as they would, think with a mind like theirs and feel with the emotions that they have. It definately put things into perspective for me as well as tell me an excellent story. You can tell the author knew the background on autism which is an excellent bonus. I definatley recommend this for the recreational reader, the avid reader as well as someone who might want to gain a perspective with autism. I've added a few selections from the actual non-fiction books on Autism and Asperger which are definatley worth checking out. Another one which I can't find here is "ARTISM" which is a picture book filled with some amazing art work done by autistics and I believe (not 100%) that the money from the proceeds of the book goes towards funding for people with Autism. If you can find a copy it is a lovely book.
Date published: 2008-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worthy of it's Fine Reputation as a True Original Are you drawn to novels that are character driven? Then this is definitely one you should check out! Mark Haddon's quirky first novel, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time", is greatly enhanced by the author's decision to write it from the point of point of view of the fascinating main character, a 15 year old autistic boy. After discovering the neighbor's poodle impaled on a garden fork and being arrested for the crime, the boy embarks on an investigation of his own, completely against the wishes of his father. Like many with Autism, the narrator is mathematically gifted, but is socially backward and unable to sort out the strange behavior of his elders and peers. Nevertheless, he still moves steadily toward uncovering the solution to the mystery. Because of the narrator chosen, Mark Haddon is able to include some very unusual devices which enhance character development and make the cadence of the story more interesting - chapters aren't numbered in the traditional sense, but instead only with prime numbers. Also, diagrams, copies of letters, maps, and pictures are sprinkled throughout. Original, funny, moving (without being sentimental), and at times just plain weird, Haddon's novel is a must for those looking for something completely different.
Date published: 2008-09-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Wasn't Bad As an individual with Asperger's Syndrome, I can overall relate to many different aspects of this book. It was an overall descent book, but not very exciting.
Date published: 2008-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The curious incident of the dog in the night I have just finished reading a great book written by Mark Haddon who is a writer, illustrator of numerous children’s books and television screen plays. He now lives in Oxford, England. As a young man he worked with autistic individuals. His experience and knowledge in this work certainly played an important part when writing this story. The book is called “The curious incident of the dog in the night-time”; it is a different type of detective story with an unlikely hero a fifteen year old autistic boy called Christopher who knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7057. He also relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions and cannot stand to be touched. He detests the colours yellow and brown. Christopher tells his story and his quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighbourhood dog. The book is written so the reader looks at the world through Christopher’s eyes and not only will they get a better understanding of autism but a better understanding of themselves also. I found the book really enjoyable and quite different; it was quite the eye opener. Once I started reading it I just couldn’t stop until it was finished. This book won the Whitebread book of the year 2003 The New York Times – most notable book of the year The Globe and Mail and Vancouver Sun’s – most notable book of the year
Date published: 2008-07-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Funny, heartbreaking and mysterious Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He cannot understand human emotions but can understand animals well, he cannot stand to be touched if he does he will fight back or start screaming. He hates the colors brown and yellow and hate being in crowned place, he is gifted with a very strong logical brain but Christopher is autistic. Mark Haddon writes this book making it one of the books that has everything you want in one book, it is a comedy, a heartbreaker, and a mystery and very clever having it is written in the view of an autistic 15-years-old teenager. It has a mysterious edge to it that keep growing and growing making you never want to put the book down. This novel allows you to see the world through the eyes of a person who has autism. It is a great read and if you ever get a chance to read this book, pick it up because I had a fun time reading this wonderful book.
Date published: 2008-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant Through the eyes of an autistic kid Christopher, readers experience an investigation of the death of a neighbour's dog, adventure to travel from Swindon to London, and the deep-set insecurity and confusion in the mind. It leads us to see the world from an unusual perspective - hopefully we can all become more understanding. One word to describe this book: Brilliant!
Date published: 2008-02-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read This books gives you an excellent view into the mind of an autistic teenager. It's a quick read with great laughs. Once you start reading, you will not want to put it down.
Date published: 2008-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Read this book This is a book you will not be able to put down. Written in a unique perspective it makes you think about the world in a different way.
Date published: 2008-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Creative and Moving This book is amazing because it makes us stop and reconsider all the choices we make based on soley intuition which a lot of time don't make any sense. I found it fascinating to look through the eyes of someone not just autistic but also lives in a world that is completely devoid of conventional meanings, context, and conotations. The story is also very moving when you start to be able to piece together a complete picture of the life he was born into. Definitly worth reading.
Date published: 2008-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A unique book with a unique character This book is so fresh and special I couldn't put it down. Most books write about characters who are in tune with their emotions, but Christopher John Francis Boone is more in tune with numbers and facts. The book captures his struggle to unite his unique understanding of his world with his inability to fully understand it. And it all starts with a dog in the night time.
Date published: 2008-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Book This book was very funny and very insightful. It really gives you a look into the mind of a someone who is autistic. I loved it and would recommend it to anyone. You will love the main character. My only problem with the book is it is too short.
Date published: 2008-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quirky and fun!! Christopher Boone is an autistic teenager who is a math wizard, knows every prime number up to 7,057, hates the colours yellow and brown, and cannot lie. When his neighbour's dog dies, Christopher decides to find out who was responsible, much like his hero Sherlock Holmes. Christopher lives alone with his dad, who tells him to stop sticking his nose in other people's business. Christopher takes this literally, and continues to investigate. He documents his progress in a journal, which gives us The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This book was quirky and fun! I really enjoyed Christopher. Even though, as he professes, he has no sense of humor, his look on life is really enjoyable. Interspersed through his detective mission to find the dog's killer, Christopher puts in random math problems that he has figured out. While I didn't have a problem with this, I could see that some might find it annoying to have a break in the actual story. This book was hard to put down near the end. I thought it was going to be odd so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it!
Date published: 2007-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fantastic Novel This novel was amazing. It is written in the prospective of an autistic 15 year old named Christopher. It has a mysterious edge to it that makes you never want to put the book down. This novel allows you to see the world through the eyes of a person who has autism. it is a great read and i recommend it to all.
Date published: 2007-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must-read! If you like mystery novels and novels from the view of a teen with autism, grab this book off the shelf and start reading! You follow the journey of Christopher, who wants to find who did a crime towards an animal. This book pulls you in so tightly that you can't stop and leave, you have to keep going. This is not for some people, but others will find it fascinating and intriguing!
Date published: 2007-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!!! LOVED IT!!! EXCELLENT!!! It became a quick favourite with this interesting tale of a young autistic boy who goes searching for the killer of a neighbours dog. It is a light and easy read but has great description. Easily original as the tale is told through the autistic boys eyes. A quick favoruite for me.
Date published: 2007-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from moving and intriguing this was the most captivating novel i have ever read. mark haddon is a genius - it would be amazingly hard to write a book in the perspective of an autistic boy. it was wonderful and impossible to put down once you started reading it. i recommend it to anyone who wants to read it.
Date published: 2007-07-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A moving tale The voice of Christopher Boone, a young man with Asperger's Syndrome, is wonderfully captured in this book. Christopher finds the neighbor's dog, Wellington, murdered via pitchfork, and decides to emulate his literary hero, Sherlock Holmes, and solve the mystery. What Christopher Boone uncovers leads him to places he never imagined he might go, and teaches him the most valuable lesson he needs to know. The novel moves through a variety of emotions and gives a very accurate representation of an Apserger's child (or at least, my memory of working with an Asperger's child certainly triggered a lot reading the book). Christopher hates yellow and brown, and his favorite dream is painfully touching. The frustrations his condition inflicts on those around him is very realistic. You can feel for everyone around Christopher as they lose patience and lose their tempers even while you feel for Christopher, who just doesn't understand why people are upset.
Date published: 2007-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life-changing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is narrated by an autistic boy, who is on a quest to figure out who killed his neighbour's dog, Wellington. Mark Haddon's writing is so superb that for the whole duration of the novel, I felt as if I was tightly bonded with this autistic boy and I even began to think a little bit like the way the autistic kid does. This book is written very casually and is packed with pages upon pages of curious facts, information, puzzles, and pictures, all crafted to fit in perfectly with the plot. Although this story is about a boy who cannot feel emotion, the story itself drips with pure emotion as the reader ventures through a chapter in the life of a very unique, special, and amazing child. This book is essentially life-changing and will be treasured by many generations of youth and adults to come!
Date published: 2007-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life-changing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is narrated by an autistic boy, who is on a quest to figure out who killed his neighbour's dog, Wellington. Mark Haddon's writing is so superb that for the whole duration of the novel, I felt as if I was tightly bonded with this autistic boy and I even began to think a little bit like the way the autistic kid does. This book is written very casually and is packed with pages upon pages of curious facts, information, puzzles, and pictures, all crafted to fit in perfectly with the plot. Although this story is about a boy who cannot feel emotion, the story itself drips with pure emotion as the reader ventures through a chapter in the life of a very unique, special, and amazing child. This book is essentially life-changing and will be treasured by many generations of youth and adults to come!
Date published: 2007-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting book! The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, written by Mark Haddon, is about Christopher’s investigation to identify who killed his neighbour’s dog. In the novel, the author uses a simple narrative style and simple grammar to make the book easy to read. The book describes a lot of what Christopher, the narrator and main character, sees and feels and it also contains flashbacks to help the reader understand what is happening in Christopher’s mind. This very interesting book is a light read with great description into the story. Mark Haddon shows how an autistic child feels and gives the reader a better understanding of the world of autism. I really like this book and I think it is a good read for young people as well as for old!
Date published: 2007-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Summary The novel, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time,” written by Mark Haddon, is a story presenting themes of unconditional love, courage and determination. The main character, Christopher Boone, is a 15 year old boy who decides he will write his own mystery novel. Faced with a learning disability, this story is his greatest accomplishment. Faced with many problems and conflicts throughout the novel, Christopher struggles to understand the situations around him. Understanding his characteristics and how he reacts to different things becomes quite visible throughout the story.
Date published: 2006-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cracking good Story The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a journalesque account of the events a young boy finds himself surrounded by after the grisly murder of a neighborhood dog. Christopher Boone is a teenage boy living in Swindon, England with his father; he likes maths, hates the colors yellow and brown, and can recall any day in his life after the age of two. Christopher has “challenges” but despite these “challenges” he is relentless in his pursuit of the truth. The murder sets in motion a chain of events that push Christopher to wade into his own past and discover secrets he could never imagine were being kept from him, and eventually even lead him hundreds of miles from home.
Date published: 2006-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read This novel, by Mark Haden, is about a part in Christopher’s life and a murder mystery of who killed the neighbor’s dog, Wellington. It is a novel written from Christopher’s point of view and the things he discovers while figuring out who killed Wellington.It is a novel written from a 15 year olds perspective full of great detail and one murder mystery that keeps readers reading. It uses prime numbers for chapters because Christopher loves prime numbers. He has written in short sentences making the book easy to understand and to demonstrate the world according to Christopher. This novel has an adventure and a mystery all in one it is an easy read and a great novel.
Date published: 2006-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly suggested book! The novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, written by Mark Haddon in 2003 is a first person narrative. Christopher Boone is a 15 year old narrator that may be classified as “special needs”. He likes solving math problems in his head, hates the colors brown and yellow, but loves the color red. The novel begins with Christopher discovering his neighbor’s poodle dog killed. Innocent and honest, Christopher, accompanied by his pet rat, Toby, decides to embark on a journey to solve this mysterious murder. His search for the truth leads him to the discovery of his parent’s broken marriage and the true identity of the murderer. Helped by his teacher, Siobhan, Christopher learns to deal with his environment more effectively by seeking consistency in the chaos of stimuli. Readers can’t help but share his emotions while he experiences ups and downs, successes and failures. The result of this novel is a unique literary work that opens the eyes of the world to individuals that may seem distinctive at a first glance, but is in fact very similar to you and me.
Date published: 2006-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Marvellous Mark Haddon is truly a marvel. His writing allows the reader to have a unique look into an autistic life. Personally I enjoyed the diagrams and explanations because they added reality to the book. I have met and got to know a few people with autism and this book has helped me to better understand the intensity with which they view their environment. I highly recommend this book. You will not only receive an eye opener but you'll get some laughs too :)
Date published: 2006-11-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not fantastic... While this book does offer an insightful glimpse into the world of a person with autism, I don't think it warrants the heaps of praise it has received. I didn't enjoy this book because I couldn't relate to the main character. I found the frequent diagrams and pictures irritating, and I found much of the information irrelevant. Far from being well written, this book is actually a LOT of run-on sentences and a lot of just dialogue with no real character development. If you are working with or know someone with autism, it is an intriguing book, but not one I would read for fun.
Date published: 2006-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books I have ever read! All parents of autism/aspergers should read this. A fictional book written in the eyes of an aspergers child. Amazing! A must read!
Date published: 2006-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is one of the most creative/well-written books I have ever read. Christopher John Francis Boone is an autistic kid. This book proves that even if you are autistic, it does not mean that you are not intelligent. Christopher knows all the countries and capital cities of the world, and he even knows every prime number up to 7,057. The only problem with Christopher is that he does not understand human emotions, hates the colour yellow and hates being touched. When a next door neighbour's dog is killed, Christopher is determined to figure out who the murderer is, even if it means going up to people he does not know and asking questions. This is a book that's impossible to put down, and makes you keep thinking even after you are finished!
Date published: 2006-08-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A good book I have worked with children with autism and it has always interested me, this book gives you great insight into the mind of someone with autism.
Date published: 2006-08-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Overdeveloped Incident; an Incomplete Tale Mark Haddon’s insightful piece about an episode in an autistic boy’s life, promises more than it accomplishes. While the first-person narrator, a lovable boy, explains his life-processes to the reader, and an epic adventure is embarked on, the story resolves itself as an incomplete slice-of-life and leaves the reader wanting, without substantial satisfaction. While the word “incident” in the title may suggest this is all that will be delivered, Haddon’s creative motivations for his title character, the readers growing attentiveness to his patterns and reactions, and an epic adventure across the country, suggest to the reader that far more awaits them at the end than the cop-out ‘and what you would expect may proceed from here, in fact, does’. Haddon short-changes his audience, promising a unique adventure, beginning a life that grows beyond the incident of the dog, and then ending it abruptly, as if he were only paid to write three-hundred pages and therefore would not write until three-hundred and one. While I cannot say that this book is unmemorable, and may not adamantly deter one from reading it, I will express my eventual disappointment and will not award more than three stars out of five. Haddon attempted more than he could evidently produce. In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, one will find only the fist half of a great book.
Date published: 2006-07-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent but the ending needed work I have wondered how children and adults with autism see the world. This book, a fiction, is successful in that it takes something that has been covered before and yet turn it into an entertaining and at times comedic read. As I follow the main character through his adventures, I find myself cheering him on, and at the same time feel very frustrated and embarassingly, impatient with him.
Date published: 2006-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awe Inspiring This book is insightful, fresh, touching, funny, entertaining and brilliant. I can't say enough good things about it. I guarantee it will touch you in some way and will leave you with a different view of children living with disabilities. This is a book to be shared with friends and family and is one that you won't soon forget.
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Versatile Novel for All Readers Brilliant, hilarious, touching and inspiring, this book is perfect for families, students and childcare professionals. It is very entertaining, with fresh humour and lots of random trivia. I recommend it to everyone I can.
Date published: 2006-05-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worthwhile, an enjoyable read. I learned so much from reading this book, and I will never look at people with Aspergers the same way again. I loved the way this book was put together and I really enjoyed all of the pictures and visual diagrams! It was a quick read. It made me think about how us 'everyday folks' must be percieved by people with a disability. It was great to get another take on things. Well done Haddon.
Date published: 2006-02-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Waste Of My Reading Time There were times when I wanted to cry for the little boy in this book, but most of time I just wanted to toss this book in the trash. It was such a waste of my time, I read it because of all the great reviews, and I was sorely disapointed. It was a waste of my time and especially my money!
Date published: 2006-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great book!!! i loved it!!!
Date published: 2006-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny stuff! I finished reading this book in two sittings. I enjoyed it immensely. It has actually made its way to my top ten list (in the comedic satire category, that is).
Date published: 2005-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a must read! An absolute work of genius! Highly recommended!! The Curious Incident of the Dog is by far one of the best books I have read!
Date published: 2005-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Transcendent Journey Mark Haddon is a genius of fiction. He clearly did in-depth research of autistic children. He weaved his research into this wonderful tale that will make you laugh, cry, and think. Christopher Boone (protagonist) is an unlikely hero, but nonetheless a lovable one. You find yourself cheering for him from start to finish. This book will truly enchant people of all ages for years to come.
Date published: 2005-08-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great stuff The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was a wonderful read. Very witty and humorous, with the right amount of a dramatic element. The narrator (Christopher) is a lovable character, his ignorant way of looking at life/events is refreshing and charming. Through reading this, one can learn a great amount about Aspergers syndrome, as well as about life in general. The portrayal of the disease was realistic and interesting. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2005-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great book I finished this book in a day when the only book that I last managed to finish on my spare time was the Little Prince.
Date published: 2005-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Amazing! Take a bow Mr. Haddon! Having known some people with autism I found Christopher Boone's character very realistic. Reading this book really placed me in the shoes of someone autistic. Not only do you learn a lot by reading this book, but you laugh as well. What a wonderful combination! I would recommend this book to anyone - adolescent or adult!
Date published: 2005-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent!!! This is probably one of the best books that I have ever read. Very intresting, insightful, moving, sad, and funny all rolled into one excellent book. It really shows inside the mind of someone who is autistic. I am in grade 7, but I really enjoyed it, and I think that people of all ages will love this book.
Date published: 2005-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from simple but excellent English is not my mother language, but this book is easy for me and interesting to keep me non-stop reading. I used to be reading the mystery and suspense types novel, but the curious incident of the dog in the night-time is a wonderful and other choice for me.
Date published: 2005-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A rarity Books like this one are hard to come by. Sweet and funny and sad, all at the same time, Mark Haddon has created a unique and endearing character. The reader cannot help but cheer on our hero! Well written!
Date published: 2005-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect!! I... myself, am autistic and reading this book has given me a new outlook on other people and their misunderstanding of kids with autism. I now know that there are people who know how we think and that gives me a new type of comfort.
Date published: 2005-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from excellent I really loved this book. It was both funny and poignant. As a mother of an autistic boy, I found Christopher to be entirely believable. I hope that more people read this both as a delightful novel and an unique insight into the world of an autistic.
Date published: 2005-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Masterpiece Best novel I have read in several years. Original, moving, funny, and absolutely engaging. An excellent foray into the world of the autistic mind. Have recommended this book to everyone I know.
Date published: 2005-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Strange and Enjoyable This book was so well written, I was impressed with the authors ability to create such a believable character. The story is fun and emotional and I had a hard time putting this book down. It was refreshing to read something so different from what everyone else is writing!! Highly recommend this to anyone who likes to read!!!
Date published: 2005-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read! This book was both poignant and funny. I finished this book on the train into the city and could not put it down! A definate must read!
Date published: 2005-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compassion and Realism Haddon weaves a representation of what life can be like for autistic individuals and their caregivers. He shows a great deal of sympathy and a sense of humour that cannot fail to keep a reader interested from start to finish. Being a caregiver to autistic kids myself, I could relate to the joys and pains that the protagonist evinces.....a triumph!
Date published: 2005-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time This book is really great. I had a very hard time putting it down. Christopher is a character that you love from the start. You feel for him and wish, at times, that you could help him out. I laughed and cried throughout the book. All i can say is that it's great and i strongly suggest it.
Date published: 2004-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent I found this perspective refreshingly different - the world according to an autistic young man who comprehends nothing of emotion. It was riveting! I couldn't put the book down and finished it in 2 days. I would highly recommend that you read this book if you're looking to see the world through an entirely different lens.
Date published: 2004-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Literary Genious!!! Not only does the author plunge you into the mind of a 15 year old autistic genius, but he takes you on an investigative journey into a life-altering find. The author's writing is very consistent, never divulging away from the fundamental characteristics of being autistic. This is a must read especially anyone interested in psychology. This book will forever change the way you perceive people with different conditions of the mind.
Date published: 2004-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from tugs at your heart This was a brilliantly written book. It puts you into the mind of a 15 year-old autistic boy and twists and turns your emotions inside out. You'll laugh one minute then feel heartfelt sadness the next. When it was over I wanted to keep reading more. Christopher's life becomes so real somehow, you almost wish you knew him.
Date published: 2004-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book Club Favourite Our book club read this book and we all finished it within two days. I was particularly impressed with Haddon's creativity and accuracy in portraying the narrator as someone with Asperger's/ Autism. It was easy to lose yourself in the characters and we all felt empathetic towards Christopher and his father. There were a number of twists and turns in the plot, which kept all of us interested in the story.... It was difficult to put it down! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Date published: 2004-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 10 out of 10!!! I thought this was just amazing! I bought the booked based on a recommendation from a friend, for my holidays - i bought the book a few days before, and was finished before we even left!!! I just loved it - its funny and smart and catches you right from the start!
Date published: 2004-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time As the parent of an autistic teenager, I was fascinated by this book's ability to enter the mind of an autistic boy, as he tries to solve a neighborhood mystery. The author has an amazing grasp of the way an autistic person looks at the world, and of the coping mechanisms used to deal with the situations and people that arise. Not to mention that it is just a good story!
Date published: 2004-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Strange but Fascinating Story You have to, first of all, take into account that this is written in the first person of a 15-year-old autistic teen. If you know anything about autism (think Dustin Hoffman's character in the late 80's blockbuster, Rainman), then this will be an amusing and enjoyable read. I found that the humour was very witty, and at times, possibly above average intelligence (those who like the subtleties of The Simpsons' humour will also enjoy). Those who are not into or do not fully understand this style of thinking humour may render the book as mediocre. I loved this book, and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read something a little out of the ordinary. Kudos to Mark Haddon!
Date published: 2004-06-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very unique This is one of the most unique and quirky books I've read in a long time! The main character is likeable, frustrating, very literal and funny at the same time. The author takes a trip inside the mind of this autistic young man and makes the reader understand a bit about his world. Well done! I'm choosing this for my next book club review.
Date published: 2004-06-19

Extra Content

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.3My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7,057. Eight years ago, when I first met Siobhan, she showed me this picture[sad face]and I knew that it meant ‘sad,’ which is what I felt when I found the dead dog. Then she showed me this picture[smiley face] and I knew that it meant ‘happy’, like when I’m reading about the Apollo space missions, or when I am still awake at 3 am or 4 am in the morning and I can walk up and down the street and pretend that I am the only person in the whole world. Then she drew some other pictures[various happy, sad, confused, surprised faces]but I was unable to say what these meant. I got Siobhan to draw lots of these faces and then write down next to them exactly what they meant. I kept the piece the piece of paper in my pocket and took it out when I didn’t understand what someone was saying. But it was very difficult to decide which of the diagrams was most like the face they were making because people’s faces move very quickly.When I told Siobhan that I was doing this, she got out a pencil and another piece of paper and said it probably made people feel very[confused face] and then she laughed. So I tore the original piece of paper up and threw it away. And Siobhan apologised. And now if I don’t know what someone is saying I ask them what they mean or I walk away.5I pulled the fork out of the dog and lifted him into my arms and hugged him. He was leaking blood from the fork-holes.I like dogs. You always know what a dog is thinking. It has four moods. Happy, sad, cross and concentrating. Also, dogs are faithful and they do not tell lies because they cannot talk.I had been hugging the dog for 4 minutes when I heard screaming. I looked up and saw Mrs Shears running towards me from the patio. She was wearing pyjamas and a housecoat. Her toenails were painted bright pink and she had no shoes on.She was shouting, ‘What in fuck’s name have you done to my dog?’.I do not like people shouting at me. It makes me scared that they are going to hit me or touch me and I do not know what is going to happen.‘Let go of the dog,’ she shouted. ‘Let go of the fucking dog for Christ’s sake.’I put the dog down on the lawn and moved back 2 metres.She bent down. I thought she was going to pick the dog up herself, but she didn’t. Perhaps she noticed how much blood there was and didn’t want to get dirty. Instead, she started screaming again. I put my hands over my ears and closed my eyes and rolled forward till I was hunched up with my forehead pressed onto the grass. The grass was wet and cold. It was nice.7This is a murder mystery novel.Siobhan said that I should write something I would want to read myself. Mostly I read books about science and maths. I do not like proper novels. In proper novels people say things like, ‘I am veined with iron, with silver and with streaks of common mud. I cannot contract into the firm fist which those clench who do not depend on stimulus’ . What does this mean? I do not know. Nor does Father. Nor do Siobhan or Mr Jeavons. I have asked them.Siobhan has long blonde hair and wears glasses which are made of green plastic. And Mr Jeavons smells of soap and wears brown shoes that have approximately 60 tiny circular holes in each of them.But I do like murder mystery novels. So I am writing a murder mystery novel. In a murder mystery novel someone has to work out who the murderer is and then catch them. It is a puzzle. If it is a good puzzle you can sometimes work out the answer before the end of the book.Siobhan said that the book should begin with something to grab people’s attention. That is why I started with the dog. I also started with the dog because it happened to me and I find it hard to imagine things which did not happen to me.Siobhan read the first page and said that it was different. She put this word into inverted commas by making the wiggly quotation sign with her first and second fingers. She said that it was usually people who were killed in murder mystery novels. I said that two dogs were killed in The Hound of the Baskervilles, the hound itself and James Mortimer’s spaniel, but Siobhan said they weren’t the victims of the murder, Sir Charles Baskerville was. She said that this was because readers cared more about people than dogs, so if a person was killed in the book readers would want to carry on reading. I said that I wanted to write about something real and I knew people who had died but I did not know any people who had been killed, except Edward’s father from school, Mr Paulson, and that was a gliding accident, not murder, and I didn’t really know him. I also said that I cared about dogs because they were faithful and honest, and some dogs were cleverer and more interesting than some people. Steve, for example, who comes to centre on Thursdays, needs help to eat his food and could not even fetch a stick. Siobhan asked me not to say this to Steve’s mother.11Then the police arrived. I like the police. They have uniforms and numbers and you know what they are meant to be doing. There was a policewoman and a policeman. The policewoman had a little hole in her tights on her left ankle and a red scratch in the middle of the hole. The policeman had a big orange leaf stuck to the bottom of his shoe which was poking out from one side. The policewoman put her arms round Mrs Shears and led her back towards the house.I lifted my head off the grass. The policeman squatted down beside me and said, ‘Would you like to tell me what’s going on here, young man?’.I sat up and said ‘The dog is dead.’‘I’d got that far,’ he said.I said, ‘I think someone killed the dog.’‘How old are you?’ he asked.I replied, ‘I am 15 years and 3 months and 2 days.’‘And what, precisely, were you doing in the garden?’ he asked.‘I was holding the dog,’ I replied.‘And why were you holding the dog?’ he asked.This was a difficult question. It was something I wanted to do. I like dogs. It made me sad to see that the dog was dead. I like policemen, too, and I wanted to answer the question properly, but the policeman did not give me enough time to work out the correct answer.‘Why were you holding the dog?’ he asked again.‘I like dogs,’ I said.‘Did you kill the dog?’ he asked.I said, ‘I did not kill the dog.’‘Is this your fork?’ he asked.I said, ‘No.’‘You seem very upset about this,’ he said.He was asking too many questions and he was asking them too quickly. They were stacking up in my head like loaves in the factory where Uncle Terry works. The factory is a bakery and he operates the slicing machines. And sometimes the slicer is not working fast enough but the bread keeps coming and there is a blockage. I sometimes think of my mind as a machine, but not always as a bread-slicing machine. It makes it easier to explain to other people what is going on inside it.The policeman said, ‘I am going to ask you once again…’I rolled back onto the lawn and pressed my forehead to the ground again and made the noise that Father calls groaning. I make this noise when there is too much information coming into my head from the outside world. It is like when you are upset and you hold the radio against your ear and you tune it halfway between two stations so that all you get is white noise and then you turn the volume right up so that this is all you can hear and then you know you are safe because you cannot hear anything else.The policeman took hold of my arm and lifted me onto my feet.I didn’t like him touching me like this.And this is when I hit him.13This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them. Here is a joke, as an example. It is one of Father’s.His face was drawn but the curtains were real.I know why this is meant to be funny. I asked. It is because drawn has three meanings, and they are 1) drawn with a pencil, 2) exhausted, and 3) pulled across a window, and meaning 1 refers to both the face and the curtains, meaning 2 refers only to the face, and meaning 3 refers only to the curtains.If I try to say the joke to myself, making the word mean the three different things at the same time, it is like hearing three different pieces of music at the same time which is uncomfortable and confusing and not nice like white noise. It is like three people trying to talk to you at the same time about different things.And that is why there are no jokes in this book.17The policeman looked at me for a while without speaking. Then he said, ‘I am arresting you for assaulting a police officer.’This made me feel a lot calmer because it is what policeman say on television and in films.Then he said, ‘I strongly advise you to get into the back of the police car because if you try any of that monkey-business again, you little shit, I will seriously lose my rag. Is that understood?’.I walked over to the police car which was parked just outside the gate. He opened the back door and I got inside. He climbed into the driver’s seat and made a call on his radio to the policewoman who was still inside the house. He said, ‘The little bugger just had a pop at me, Kate. Can you hang on with Mrs S while I drop him off at the station? I’ll get Tony to swing by and pick you up.’And she said, ‘Sure. I’ll catch you later.’The policeman said, ‘Okey-doke,’ and we drove off.The police car smelt of hot plastic and aftershave and take-away chips.I watched the sky as we drove towards the town centre. It was a clear night and you could see the Milky Way. Some people think the Milky Way is a long line of stars, but it isn’t. Our galaxy is a huge disc of stars millions of light years across and the solar system is somewhere near the outside edge of the disc. When you look in direction A, at 90º to the disc, you don’t see many stars. But when you look in direction B, you see lots more stars because you are looking into the main body of the galaxy, and because the galaxy is a disc you see a stripe of stars.And then I thought about how, for a long time scientists were puzzled by the fact that the sky is dark at night, even though there are billions of stars in the universe and there must be stars in every direction you look, so that the sky should be full of starlight because there is very little in the way to stop the light reaching earth.Then they worked out that the universe was expanding, that the stars were all rushing away from one another after the Big Bang, and the further the stars were away from us the faster they were moving, some of them nearly as fast as the speed of light, which was why their light never reached us.I like this fact. It is something you can work out in your own mind just by looking at the sky above your head at night and thinking without having to ask anyone.And when the universe has finished exploding all the stars will slow down, like a ball that has been thrown into the air, and they will come to a halt and they will all begin to fall towards the centre of the universe again. And then there will be nothing to stop us seeing all the stars in the world because they will all be moving towards us, gradually faster and faster, and we will know that the world is going to end soon because when we look up into the sky at night there will be no darkness, just the blazing light of billions and billions of stars, all falling.Except that no one will see this because there will be no people left on the earth to see it. They will probably have become extinct by then. And even if there are people still in existence they will not see it because the light will be so bright and hot that everyone will be burnt to death, even if they live in tunnels.19Chapters in books are usually given the cardinal numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and so on. But I have decided to give my chapters prime numbers 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13 and so on because I like prime numbers.This is how you work out what prime numbers are.First, you write down all the positive whole numbers in the world. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546474849etc.Then you take away all the numbers that are multiples of 2. Then you take away all the numbers that are multiples of 3. Then you take away all the numbers that are multiples of 4 and 5 and 6 and 7 and so on. The numbers that are left are the prime numbers.23571113171923293137414347etc.The rule for working out prime numbers is really simple, but no one has ever worked out a simple formula for telling you whether a very big number is a prime number or what the next one will be. If a number is really, really big, it can take a computer years to work out whether it is a prime number.Prime numbers are useful for writing codes and in America they are classed as Military Material and if you find one over 100 digits long you have to tell the CIA and they buy it off you for $10,000. But it would not be a very good way of making a living.Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.23When I got to the police station they made me take the laces out of my shoes and empty my pockets at the front desk in case I had anything in them that I could use to kill myself or escape or attack a policeman with. The sergeant behind the desk had very hairy hands and he had bitten his nails so much that they had bled.This is what I had in my pockets:1. A Swiss Army Knife with 13 attachments including a wire-stripper and a saw and a toothpick and tweezers.2. A piece of string.3. A piece of a wooden puzzle which looked like this4. 3 pellets of rat food for Toby, my rat.5. £1.47 (this was made up of a £1 coin, a 20p coin, two 10p coins, a 5p coin and a 2p coin)6. A red paperclip7. A key for the front door.I was also wearing my watch and they wanted me to leave this at the desk as well but I said that I needed to keep my watch on because I needed to know exactly what time it was. And when they tried to take it off me I screamed, so they let me keep it on.They asked me if I had any family. I said I did. They asked me who my family was. I said it was Father, but Mother was dead. And I said it was also Uncle Terry but he was in Sunderland and he was Father’s brother, and it was my grandparents, too, but three of them were dead and Grandma Burton was in a home because she had senile dementia and thought that I was someone on television.Then they asked me for Father’s phone number.I told them that he had two numbers, one for at home and one which was a mobile phone and I said both of them.It was nice in the police cell. It was almost a perfect cube, 2 metres long by 2 metres wide by 2 metres high. It contained approximately 8 cubic metres of air. It had a small window with bars and, on the opposite side, a metal door with a long, thin hatch near the floor for sliding trays of food into the cell and a sliding hatch higher up so that policemen could look in and check that prisoners hadn’t escaped or committed suicide. There was also a padded bench.I wondered how I would escape if I was in a story. It would be difficult because the only things I had were my clothes and my shoes which had no laces in them.I decided that my best plan would be to wait for a really sunny day and then use my glasses to focus the sunlight on a piece of my clothing and start a fire. I would then make my escape when they saw the smoke and took me out of the cell. And if they didn’t notice I would be able to wee on the clothes and put them out.I wondered whether Mrs Shears had told the police that I had killed Wellington and whether, when the police found out that she had lied, she would go to prison. Because telling lies about people is called Slander.29I find people confusing.This is for two main reasons.The first main reason is that people do a lot of talking without using any words. Siobhan says that if you raise one eyebrow it can mean lots of different things. It can mean ‘I want to do sex with you’ and it can also mean ‘I think that what you just said was very stupid.’ Siobhan also says that if you close your mouth and breath out loudly through your nose it can mean that you are relaxed, or that you are bored, or that you are angry and it all depends on how much air comes out of your nose and how fast and what shape your mouth is when you do it and how you are sitting and what you said just before and hundreds of other things which are too complicated to work out in a few seconds.The second main reason is that people often talk using metaphors. These are examples of metaphorsI laughed my socks off.He was the apple of her eye.They had a skeleton in the cupboard.We had a real pig of a day.The dog was stone dead.The word metaphor means carrying something from one place to another, and it comes from the Greek words meta (which means from one place to another) and ferein (which means to carry) and it is when you describe something by using a word for something that it isn’t. This means that the word metaphor is a metaphor.I think it should be called a lie because a pig is not like a day and people do not have skeletons in their cupboards. And when I try and make a picture of the phrase in my head it just confuses me because imagining an apple in someone’s eye doesn’t have anything to do with liking someone a lot and it makes you forget what the person was talking about.My name is a metaphor. It means carrying Christ and it comes from the Greek words cristoV (which means Jesus Christ) and ferein and it was the name given to St Christopher because he carried Jesus Christ across a river. This makes you wonder` what he was called before he carried Christ across the river. But he wasn’t called anything because this is an apocryphal story which means that it is a lie, too. Mother used to say that it meant Christopher was a nice name because it was a story about being kind and helpful, but I do not want my name to mean a story about being kind and helpful. I want my name to mean me.31It was 1:12 am when Father arrived at the police station. I did not see him until 1:28 am but I knew he was there because I could hear him.He was shouting, ‘I want to see my son,’ and ‘Why the hell is he locked up?’ and, ‘Of course I’m bloody angry.’Then I heard a policeman telling him to calm down. Then I heard nothing for a long while.At 1:28 am a policeman opened the door of the cell and told me that there was someone to see me.I stepped outside. Father was standing in the corridor. He held up his right hand and spread his fingers out in a fan. I held up my left hand and spread my fingers out in a fan and we made our fingers and thumbs touch each other. We do this because sometimes Father wants to give me a hug, but I do not like hugging people, so we do this instead, and it means that he loves me.Then the policeman told us to follow him down the corridor to another room. In the room was a table and three chairs. He told us to sit down on the far side of the table and he sat down on the other side. There was a tape recorder on the table and I asked whether I was going to be interviewed and he was going to record the interview.He said, ‘I don’t think there will be any need for that.’He was an inspector. I could tell because he wasn’t wearing a uniform. He also had a very hairy nose. It looked as if there were two very small mice hiding in his nostrils .He said, ‘I have spoken to your father and he says that you didn’t mean to hit the policeman.’I didn’t say anything because this wasn’t a question.He said, ‘Did you mean to hit the policeman?’.I said, ‘Yes.’He squeezed his face and said, ‘But you didn’t meant to hurt the policeman?’.I thought about this and said, ‘No. I didn’t meant to hurt the policeman. I just wanted him to stop touching me.’Then he said, ‘You know that it is wrong to hit a policeman, don’t you?’.I said , ‘I do.’He was quiet for a few seconds, then he asked, ‘Did you kill the dog, Christopher?’.I said, ‘I didn’t kill the dog.’He said, ‘Do you know that it is wrong to lie to a policeman and that you can get into a very great deal of trouble if you do?’.I said, ‘Yes.’He said, ‘So, do you know who killed the dog?’.I said, ‘No.’He said, ‘Are you telling the truth?’.I said, ‘Yes. I always tell the truth.’And he said, ‘Right. I am going to give you a caution.’I asked, ‘Is that going to be on a piece of paper like a certificate I can keep?’He replied, ‘No, a caution means that we are going to keep a record of what you did, that you hit a policeman but that it was an accident and that you didn’t mean to hurt the policeman.’I said ‘But it wasn’t an accident.’And Father said, ‘Christopher, please.’The policeman closed his mouth and breathed out loudly through his nose and said, ‘If you get into any more trouble we will take out this record and see that you have been given a caution and we will take things much more seriously. Do you understand what I’m saying?’.I said that I understood.Then he said that we could go and he stood up and opened the door and we walked out into the corridor and back to the front desk where I picked up my Swiss Army Knife and my piece of string and the piece of the wooden puzzle and the 3 pellets of rat food for Toby and my £1.47 and the paperclip and my front door key which were all in a little plastic bag and we went out to Father’s car which was parked outside and we drove home.37I do not tell lies. Mother used to say that this was because I was a good person. But it is not because I am a good person. It is because I can’t tell lies.Mother was a small person who smelt nice. And she sometimes wore a fleece with a zip down the front which was pink and it had a tiny label which said Berghaus on the left bosom.A lie is when you say something happened which didn’t happen. But there is only ever one thing which happened at a particular time and a particular place. And there are an infinite number of things which didn’t happen at that time and that place. And if I think about something which didn’t happen I start thinking about all the other things which didn’t happen.For example, this morning for breakfast I had Ready Brek and some hot raspberry milkshake. But if I say that I actually had Shreddies and a mug of tea I start thinking about Coco-Pops and lemonade and Porridge and Dr Pepper and how I wasn’t eating my breakfast in Egypt and there wasn’t a rhinoceros in the room and Father wasn’t wearing a diving suit and so on and even writing this makes me feel shaky and scared, like I do when I’m standing on the top of a very tall building and there are thousands of houses and cars and people below me and my head is so full of all these things that I’m afraid that I’m going to forget to stand up straight and hang onto the rail and I’m going to fall over and be killed.This is another reason why I don’t like proper novels, because they are lies about things which didn’t happen and they make me feel shaky and scared.And this is why everything I have written here is true.

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?From the Hardcover edition.