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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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33,023105021 (3.9)958
Member:heracitus
Title:The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Authors:Mark Haddon
Info:Vintage (2004), Paperback, 226 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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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Showing 1-5 of 996 (next | show all)
Something I almost never do, reread a book. But I have read this novel twice and I think it is worth reading at least once to develop some empathy with ASD. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
Detection meets child autism. Not a great novel about either, but in it's day a unique combination, and still entertaining fiction. ( )
  nandadevi | Jul 22, 2015 |
I liked reading this book, the tid-bits of information on physics, maths and science in general along with a new way to see how someone with a different kind of behavioral attitude than a 'behaviorally normal' person would perceive what we take as normality.

While movies and stories like Rainman make autism something amazing, and give a false impression than every autistic person may be a genius, the reality is very different. Working with intellectually disabled children as a volunteer for a long time now, I am a little alarmed in recent times to see the recent trend in educated people of Bangladesh to label every behavioral or intellectual disability under the term 'autism'. Movies and books featuring autism generally portray a central character who is a hidden genius. I think this cause a great harm by fabricating and twisting facts for people unaware of autism and in some cases by spreading false hope for family members of an autistic person. And the major fault of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is just that. Its another autistic teenager with a higher than average IQ. Although in Christopher's school of special children, there are children who have a low IQ level and severe behavioral problems, he still stands out, he is not them, he is unique ... very much like the other movies and books.

But I didn't start reading the book with any prejudice, and I did enjoy the narration from the teenager's viewpoint. Seeing the world from how a person with behavioral abnormality would see, was refreshing. Why Christopher acts panicky when he's in a new situation with so much information to process and how he tries to calm himself down is interesting.

Attention deficiency and behavioral problems in people is a serious issue which demand that special care be given to such people. While I don't really believe it should be named a 'disability', we do need to spread the awareness on autism and behavioral abnormalities as well as intellectual disabilities. Every normal person needs to understand that someone with such shortcomings need to be treated in a different way but that never means they do not perceive emotions the way another person does. Over all such a person need more patience, and more attention to what is normal for them .. something perhaps we normal and busy people, even being parents and siblings lack ourselves. ( )
  PsYcHe_Sufi | Jul 12, 2015 |
First of all I will confess that I picked up this book only because it had a rat in it. I had heard about the play, I wanted to read the book and see how the rat was represented. I loved every word of what I read. I'm not talking about just the way the rat is treated here, though the rat is treated very well by the author and is considered an intelligent pet, worthy of love, I mean the entire book was amazing.

Told in the first person perspective of a boy named Christopher, this is a murder mystery with a unique point of view. Christopher clearly has a type of autism or other very similar mental handicap, though the story is not about this special situation. You see the autism because you listen to the way Christopher talks, but it is such a natural thing after a minute or two that you stop seeing it as anything special and start seeing it as just part of who the character is. How he handles himself forces the book onto certain paths, but otherwise, this is just a murder mystery that a fan of Sherlock Holmes is trying to solve on his own.

Excellent, excellent book. I found it touching and entertaining (and even a little heart stopping when the rat has his adventure), but most importantly I could not put it down. I regretted getting it from the library because when I finished I realized I should have just purchased it instead. I will definitely be reading this book again and again. ( )
  mirrani | Jul 6, 2015 |
Gripping and fascinating. Haddon does such an amazing job putting you inside his main character's head -- you understand so clearly just how different Christopher's internal reality is and how overwhelming the regular world can be. At the same time you get just why other people, including his parents (who have issues of their own), might find it frustrating dealing with his outbursts and incomprehension of basic social interactions. The crime itself is "solved" rather abruptly, but as Christopher would say, it's really a Red Herring -- the real mystery is the remarkable mind that's at work trying to figure things out. ( )
  bostonian71 | Jun 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 996 (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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