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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Mark Haddon

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34,237111819 (3.9)1004
Member:KarenElissa
Title:The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Authors:Mark Haddon
Info:Vintage (2004), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library, Owned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:fiction, *from where

Work details

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

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    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 53 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1061 (next | show all)
Also reviewed here: http://porcelainulairi.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/a-curious-review/

The story is told by a young boy named Christopher. He never comes out and says what exactly is wrong, other than stating he has behavioral problems, but it is clear that he has autism. He does not like to be touched, has trouble comprehending human emotions, but has an amazing memory and is excellent in math (the chapters are numbered by prime number). The story begins with the neighbor’s poodle dead (by pitchfork), Christopher finding him, and vowing to find the true murderer.

However, this is not truly a mystery novel. Sure, there is mystery as Christopher starts his investigation and meets with resistance, but there is more to it than that. It is much more about the discoveries he makes regarding his own life and fears. What I find most interesting about the novel is that the emotional story is told by a boy who has no understanding of emotions, often making the most heartbreaking moments unbearable. The author does an amazing job since you are still able to feel the emotions of the other characters behind Christopher’s apathetic and stoic nature.

The book was a very quick read, around 225 pages, some of which are filled with illustrations. My only real complaint about the book was that at times I felt like I was reading one giant run-on sentence. I found myself frustrated with this along with the narrator’s lack of empathy that never wavered, not in the slightest. It is interesting character development, and maybe an insight into what it could be like to have autism or to take care of and love someone who does. And despite the small pitfalls, I found myself emotionally attached, if not disappointed, at the end.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is something completely different from anything I have read before, and I am not sure there is anything out there like it. For this reason alone you should read it. For those that need more convincing: it is an emotional, slightly heartwarming story with an unusual main character that will keep you turning the pages to see what he says or does next. ( )
  Ulairi | Jun 16, 2016 |
The first time I picked up The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time I only got a few pages in before I gave up on it because I couldn't get into the character's voice. Recently, however, I was required to read it for a class and enjoyed it immensely.

Christopher's view of the world is enlightening, and even though it is a bit jarring at first, once I got going, I became completely immersed. I would highly recommend reading this if you want a quick read that still makes you think about life's crazy little pieces. ( )
  shulera1 | Jun 7, 2016 |
I don't remember exactly when I read this. I do remember that it was the first book about people on the Autism spectrum that I read. I also remember that it prompted me to get around to reading the collection of Sherlock Holmes books on my shelves.

I might re-read it someday, just because I've read so many memoirs and carefully researched books on the topic of Asperger's and Autism since then, and I'd like to see if Haddon's view seems accurate. One reviewer of [b:Anything But Typical|5168689|Anything But Typical|Nora Raleigh Baskin|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1267344335s/5168689.jpg|5235729] says that she is autistic, and that she can't stand Curious... but loves [a:Nora Raleigh Baskin|280493|Nora Raleigh Baskin|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1299275750p2/280493.jpg]'s book. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Finally got around to reading this book that was in the hands of every NYC subway reader circa 2004. It was aiight. ( )
  reganrule | Jun 3, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this book and I think it gave a good insight as to how people with autism interact with the world. ( )
  KarenDuff | Jun 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 1061 (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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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 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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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