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

by Mark Haddon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
32,389102223 (3.9)927
Unread books (1,168)
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  4. 153
    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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(see all 48 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 968 (next | show all)
It was OK, I guess, but it read like it was written for the age group that it depicted (mid-teens), not for adults. I was not expecting it to be a young adult book, but that's definitely the category I would place it in. I did find it pretty funny when he was "detecting" about the death of Wellington, but I felt it kind of went off the rails into maudlin-land when it tried to teach a Valuable Life Lesson. ( )
1 vote sansmerci | Nov 16, 2014 |
Bah, I loved this book.

Having and having grown up around folks with learning (dis)abilities I feel as though this is so close to what someone with autism (and some aspergers) deal with it almost makes me wonder if Haddon doesn't have a touch of it or has family who does.

To those who were bothered by some of the repetition of his habits and explaining his 'likes' and 'dislikes', this is true to someone who has this disability and Haddon simply allowed Christopher to come to life.

I think this book is beautiful not only in all of the escapades that go on, but I because of the fact that it actually was as though it was the book Christopher wrote. I was beyond surprised to find the appendix at the end (even though I skimmed it as I have dyscalculia and cringe at anything math related lol).

Brilliantly well done, Haddon. Brilliantly done. ( )
  chelsea.small.984380 | Nov 6, 2014 |
It's a mystery. It's also a mystery as to how it stopped being one. After searching the internet for quite a while, I fear it will remain an unsolved one, unlike the mystery in the book. I think for many readers, we're enchanted with this take on the Sherlock mythos, then betrayed by our own enjoyment of it. Every interview with the author I can locate finds him both mentioning it as a mystery, followed by his comments only as a family drama of sorts. It's still a good book. It's still well-written. But the author is guilty of the crime of making us want something, then giving us something entirely different. Perhaps the mystery of the missing mystery is a mystery even to him.

I think that I, like many readers, are left with only our unfulfilled desires of what kind of mystery it could have been. Would that have been a better book? It's a mystery. ( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
It's a mystery. It's also a mystery as to how it stopped being one. After searching the internet for quite a while, I fear it will remain an unsolved one, unlike the mystery in the book. I think for many readers, we're enchanted with this take on the Sherlock mythos, then betrayed by our own enjoyment of it. Every interview with the author I can locate finds him both mentioning it as a mystery, followed by his comments only as a family drama of sorts. It's still a good book. It's still well-written. But the author is guilty of the crime of making us want something, then giving us something entirely different. Perhaps the mystery of the missing mystery is a mystery even to him.

I think that I, like many readers, are left with only our unfulfilled desires of what kind of mystery it could have been. Would that have been a better book? It's a mystery. ( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
I wouldn't exactly call this a feel-good read, but for a novel with a narrator so emotionally separate from the events he's recounting it was very emotionally satisfying. ( )
  okrysmastree | Oct 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 968 (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 (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mark Haddonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boutavant, MarcCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pallemans, HarryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tibber, BenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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 (2)

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:59 -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.

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