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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the…

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003)

by Mark Haddon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
34,553112919 (3.9)1018
Recently added bybinemi, private library, AFYW_Library, OneOfDem, nfmgirl2, cindy_w, BHHSLIBRARY, G.J, GCDKCDZ
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    Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant: A Memoir by Daniel Tammet (_Zoe_)
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    The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon (tortoise, MyriadBooks, Lucy_Skywalker)
    tortoise: Both are well-written novels with a first-person autistic-spectrum narrator. The Curious Incident has a better-constructed plot (the villain in The Speed of Dark is a bit cartoonish), but The Speed of Dark is I think more interesting as a commentary on autism.… (more)
    MyriadBooks: Undeservedly overshadowed by the concurrent publication of The Curious Incident, I found The Speed of Dark superior in every respect.
    Lucy_Skywalker: Speed of Dark is indeed superior in every respect: plot, characters, writing style, and the author has a better understanding of autistic people being the mother of one of them.
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    JeaniusOak: Both equally readable by adults and teens alike
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    santli: A young female protagonist who also stumbles across a strange murder and uses her prodigious knowledge of science to sleuth the answer.
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    cbl_tn: The protagonists in both books imagine themselves as detectives. Both characters are accurate observers, but because they think differently than most people, they don't perceive the implications or consequences of their discoveries.
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(see all 54 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1068 (next | show all)
4.5 stars...This book has been on my shelf for a while now and my only regret is that I didn't read it sooner. Loved it! ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
Delightfully presented first-person narration of a short period in an autistic 15-year old high-functioning autistic detective's life. Detailed, interesting character development, descriptive thought life of the boy, and a good plot besides. ( )
  valzi | Sep 7, 2016 |
This is a book that I read for my workplace book club. I read this a long time ago, but forgot most of it. Which meant things were both a surprise, and weren’t. It was an odd deja-view feeling.

First - this book is an amazing read. The narrator, Christopher, is an autistic 15 year old kid, who is amazing at math - but has a hard time with everything else. He comes from a working class family, and his Mom died of a heart attack, so he's being raised by his Dad, who at times is gets Christopher, and at times doesn't to the point of frustration. When the Christopher finds the neighbours dog dead, killed by a garden fork, Christopher decides to become a detective and figure it out. This takes him past is safe zone, forcing him to talk to neighbours (except the ones who do drugs) and generally confronting long held beliefs about his family.

The rest of the review contains spoilers about the book!
Because I read the book once a long time ago, I knew the true story about Christopher's Mom. She didn't die, revealed half way through the book- but was cheating on her husband with the neighbour, and left with him to London. She sent Christopher a letter every week, but his Dad never gave them to him. What struck me is just how human his Mom is - she isn't very educated (spelling mistakes galore in her letters), she is much more emotional than Christopher's Dad - which allows for big arguments in the family, causing stress for everyone around, but she does love Christopher, stands up for him against her current boyfriend, and probably would have been that Mom everyone wanted, if her Son wasn't so difficult. I think that having a child with communication issues stresses a family, so one parent leaving isn't unusual. What is unusual is that it is Mom who left not Dad. But, it makes sense in the story.

As for Christopher, I like how his narration shows how he sees the world - the one joke he gets "an economist, physicist, and mathematician...." I think explains how he sees the world perfectly. Everything is in a category, and if it doesn't fit in a category, it is not to be trusted. Everything is black and white - even his rituals, like counting cars in a row - he knows its silly, but has to perform than anyway.

Christopher is a character who doesn't really grow, or the growth is so slow, that it is hard to see - but he does allude to times when he is younger and that explains who is as a person, he comes to terms with a world he doesn't understand, and those around him come to terms with who is. It doesn't matter. The story is set over a few weeks, and while Christopher forces himself to do things he normally wouldn't (talk to strangers, ride the train to London, etc) he doesn't really change- he's happiest when he knows what to expect.

Christopher’s father is portrayed as this very calm guy, who knows how to Christopher calm, happy, and even push him to become better. But, he's not perfect. He keeps a lot bottled up, and it comes rushing out sometimes. It can be extreme sometimes, but at the same time, I don't think its out of the ordinary.

This book was published 13 years ago, 2003. It feels like it could be written in today's setting. A lot more is known about autism. More support is there for parents. But, this could easily be a book set in 2016.

As for writing style - Christopher is an excellent narrator. Everything he writes is true, but he doesn't always know how to parse the people in his life. So, the reader still needs to figure out what is happening, and why. The writing is top-notch, the characters interesting, and its a book you read. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Aug 14, 2016 |
This was a touching story in which a very intelligent, but seriously challenged, boy grows and gains strength and demonstrates great courage. I had seen the Broadway play that was based on this book and it was amazing how closely the play tracked the book. In fact, it's sort of redundant reading the book after seeing the play. Many of the scenes and lines in the play were straight from the book. The narrator of the audio book did a very good job, even with the math problems. ( )
  fhudnell | Jul 17, 2016 |
I love the perspective this books gives you. I work as a therapist for families and with a lot of Autistic/Aspergers kids. Autism is often misunderstood and this book does a nice job putting us in an autistic individual's shoes. Now, it is a work of fiction, and the story can be lacklustre at times, but I will be recommending this book to a lot of my clients. It is truly unique. ( )
  bpeters65 | Jul 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 1068 (next | show all)
Mark Haddon specialises in innovative storylines in his work as an author, screenwriter and illustrator allied to his remarkable ability to demonstrate what it is to be autistic without sentimentality or exaggeration allied to a creative use of puzzles, facts and photographs in the text mark him out as a real talent drawing on a range of abilities.
As Christopher investigates Wellington's death, he makes some remarkably brave decisions and when he eventually faces his fears and moves beyond his immediate neighborhood, the magnitude of his challenge and the joy in his achievement are overwhelming. Haddon creates a fascinating main character and allows the reader to share in his world, experiencing his ups and downs and his trials and successes. In providing a vivid world in which the reader participates vicariously, Haddon fulfills the most important requirements of fiction, entertaining at the same time that he broadens the reader's perspective and allows him to gain knowledge. This fascinating book should attract legions of enthusiastic readers.
It's something of a miracle that Haddon (a children's book author-illustrator) never slips into condescension, given that the novel is premised on the reader's cognitive advantage—it derives much of its meaning from the gap between what Christopher perceives and what we understand based on the details he dispassionately communicates.
added by stephmo | editVillage Voice, Dennis Lim (Jul 22, 2003)
The imaginative leap of writing a novel -- the genre that began as an exercise in sentiment -- without overt emotion is a daring one, and Haddon pulls it off beautifully. Christopher's story is full of paradoxes: naive yet knowing, detached but poignant, often wryly funny despite his absolute humorlessness.
Haddon's book illuminates the way one mind works so precisely, so humanely, that it reads like both an acutely observed case study and an artful exploration of a different ''mystery'': the thoughts and feelings we share even with those very different from us.

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mark Haddonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boutavant, MarcCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cardenas, AlejandroCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carella, MariaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaye, Michael IanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pallemans, HarryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tibber, BenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to Sos
With thanks to Kathryn Heyman, Clare Alexander, Kate Shaw and Dave Cohen
First words
It was 7 minutes after midnight.
Wellington was a poodle. Not one of the small poodles that have hair styles but a big poodle.
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.
All the other children at my school are stupid. Except I'm not meant to call them stupid, even though this is what they are.
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.
I think people believe in heaven because they don’t like the idea of dying, because they want to carry on living and they don’t like the idea that other people will move into their house and put their things into the rubbish.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's, a form of autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour's dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.

AR 5.4, 10 Pts
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0099450259, Paperback)

Mark Haddon's bitterly funny debut novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is a murder mystery of sorts--one told by an autistic version of Adrian Mole. Fifteen-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone is mathematically gifted and socially hopeless, raised in a working-class home by parents who can barely cope with their child's quirks. He takes everything that he sees (or is told) at face value, and is unable to sort out the strange behavior of his elders and peers.

Late one night, Christopher comes across his neighbor's poodle, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork. Wellington's owner finds him cradling her dead dog in his arms, and has him arrested. After spending a night in jail, Christopher resolves--against the objection of his father and neighbors--to discover just who has murdered Wellington. He is encouraged by Siobhan, a social worker at his school, to write a book about his investigations, and the result--quirkily illustrated, with each chapter given its own prime number--is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Haddon's novel is a startling performance. This is the sort of book that could turn condescending, or exploitative, or overly sentimental, or grossly tasteless very easily, but Haddon navigates those dangers with a sureness of touch that is extremely rare among first-time novelists. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is original, clever, and genuinely moving: this one is a must-read. --Jack Illingworth, Amazon.ca

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:22 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor's dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.

» see all 13 descriptions

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