The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

eBook - 2009
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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.
Publisher: Toronto : Anchor Canada, 2009.
ISBN: 9780307371560
0307371565
Characteristics: 1 online resource.

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aavishkakumar Dec 01, 2017

A very captivating and intense, but at the same time, a light hearted and sweet story. This is the story of a young boy with a photographic memory, a boy who is very clever and witty, who sees the world in a different but beautiful and unique way. This book was not what I was expecting at all. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect as I made the decision to read this book. However, what I do know is that this book exceeded all my expectations and was a fantastic book, written beautifully and with so much passion. I was captivated and found I could not put this book down until I had read it completely. It had the right amount of humour, sadness and even a twist which you don't see coming.

s
Starpoem
Sep 23, 2017

Christopher, the main character in this book, faces tough situations that are sometimes even painful to read about. But you will be rooting for him all the way. He has an interesting worldview, and he demonstrates strength in the face of adversity.

One odd thing about this book: the author and all the characters are British, and the vocabulary is British ("tea" as a meal, "dungarees" instead of "overalls," etc.)...yet the spelling is American. Why would an editor make the decision to change "metres" to "meters," "pyjamas" to "pajamas," etc.? It makes the text seem inauthentic and dumbed-down. I noticed the same thing in the book Code Name Verity. If this is a new trend in publishing, I don't like it.

AL_STEFFEN Sep 19, 2017

A book about a protagonist with autism that never mentions autism, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is well written, somewhat sad and very much worth reading.
Main character Christopher finds a dog murdered by a gardening fork. He embarks on a quest to solve the murder that culminates in a harrowing train ride to London that is a somehow more satisfying than the novel's conclusion.

Catmamakim Sep 03, 2017

A delightful, easy-to-read book about an autistic boy experiencing life from his perspective. An eye-opener for someone like myself who does not have anyone close to me who is autistic. I loved the simple humour and the sweet ending. Highly recommended!

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stefeni1
Jun 13, 2017

I enjoyed this book when I read it several years ago. I saw the play over the weekend. I enjoyed the play and so did my husband who hasn't read the book.

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AlteredStaite
Apr 19, 2017

I liked this book and I don't often say that anymore. I can see how some highbrow snobs may look down their noses at it but not every story has to be filled with pathos, violence and sex to be a good read.

The writing was charming and sad and funny and enlightening with getting all preachy. I empathized with many of this kid's issues and envied him in that he was 'special' enough to get away with living in a magical world so many of us would love to run away to and lucky enough to have such wonderful support systems (however flawed).

I needed a satisfying quick read before I tackle another tomb and it filled the bill.

s
susan_findlay
Apr 07, 2017

I read books for the characters, and Haddon did a beautiful job of developing the main character of this book. Told from the first person perspective, the narrative voice is charming and credible. This is a child (teenager?) who actually sounds his age rather than sounding like a miniature adult.

The majority of the book is actually tangential information (much of it mathematical) because the point of the book is to communicate how the autistic brain works, how easily it's overwhelmed, how easily it's distracted and how the person copes. But rather than listing it dryly as I just did, you experience the overwhelming and the distractions and the coping strategies with the main character. You also get some insight into how his parents have (or haven't) coped with the limitations imposed by his autism (no hugging, for example) - though this is all filtered through the lens of the main character.

The plot had a little more to it than I was expecting and the story was fine, but the story isn't the point. It's a vehicle to showcase the character.

k
kwsmith
Feb 24, 2017

Told from the unique perspective of a high-functioning autistic boy, this light mystery novel packs an emotional punch. Haddon made me realize that some people see the day-to-day world very differently than most of us. Sometimes even small differences in your perspective can have rather dramatic consequences. There are a handful of simple math puzzles in the book which are fun to solve!

m
MajorMajorX2
Sep 22, 2016

What an unusual and great book. I read this in honor of banned book week (probably for language I'm guessing). It really gives you a great insight into the mind of someone with Autism. It's a great mix of mystery (which you will figure out long before the main character) and adventure all written from a 1st person perspective. One big lesson I learned: If you are a parent there are some things you should just lie about!

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Sep 08, 2016

This book was definitely different than most other books I have read. The book starts of slightly disturbing, but by the time you are a few chapters in, you understand what's is going on and you better understand the perspective of the narrator, which, if you have read this book before, you know is essential in understanding this story. If you understand who the narrator is, then you will realize why there is never really a solid plot to this story, and why it lacks a lot of detail and descriptions. The characters are as developed as they could be without the narrator giving us much description, but you soon know who you don't like and who you do. Although this book is about a 15 year old boy, it feels like you are reading through the perspective of a little child, instead. One of the things that had be glued to this book was because of how different it is compared to anything else I have ever read. It was interesting in that sense, so I kept on reading. Although I didn't like some of the language used in this book, I still think it was a good read. It was definitely new and interesting to read through the perspective of 15-year old Christopher.
- @Alicat15 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time follows Christopher, a 15 year-old genius who suffers from a mental disability (likely Asperger’s syndrome although the book never specifies). His neighbour’s dog was stabbed to death and he takes it into his own hands to solve the mystery of who killed it. The story is told from Christopher’s perspective, which is a very interesting point of view as you can follow his thought process and logic to his behaviour while it seems irrational to the others around him. The book covers some great, heavy-handed themes with amazing execution and is incredibly well written. The plot can be scattered at times but it all ties back to the main story and adds to it. This is a very interesting novel and it’s absolutely worth reading. 5/5 Stars
- @Fulton of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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Age Suitability

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bjaysvict
Feb 10, 2017

bjaysvict thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 70

red_alligator_11154 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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ArvinMadhi
Jun 12, 2014

ArvinMadhi thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

taupe_ape_23 Aug 23, 2013

taupe_ape_23 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

anythingfantasygoes Aug 14, 2013

anythingfantasygoes thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

violet_panda_860 Jul 07, 2013

violet_panda_860 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

pratima1 Jun 18, 2013

pratima1 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

nazpakkal Aug 03, 2012

nazpakkal thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Fantasylover97
Aug 08, 2011

Fantasylover97 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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rorymack
May 29, 2011

rorymack thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Quotes

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kioneri
May 17, 2016

But in life you have to take lots of decisions and if you don't take decisions you would never do anything because you would spend all your time choosing between things you could do. So it is good to have a reason why you hate some things and you like others.

k
kioneri
May 17, 2016

'...But sometimes we get sad about things and we don't like to tell other people that we are sad about them. We like to keep it a secret. Or sometimes we are sad but we don't really know we are sad. So we say we aren't sad. But really we are.'

k
kioneri
May 17, 2016

And this shows that sometimes people want to be stupid and they do not want to know the truth.
And it shows that something called Occam's razor is true. And Occam's razor is not a razor that men shave with but a Law, and it says
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praetor necessitate.
Which is Latin and it means
No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary.

k
kioneri
May 17, 2016

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 toward the center of the universe again. And then there will be nothing to stop us from seeing all the stars in the world because they will all be moving toward 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.

h
Hadley
Apr 21, 2008

Chapters 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.

h
Hadley
Apr 21, 2008

My 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.

h
Hadley
Apr 21, 2008

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.

Summary

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a
AbebechBekele
Jun 23, 2016

Christopher was the protagonist character in the story. One day he saw a neighbor dog killed with a garden fork or rank. However he was wondering who might have been killed that dog. He took a responsibility,or he became a detective. He asked several neighbors if they had seen anyone who was killing Mrs. Shears's dog. Everyone refused and they told him they didn't see anything. One day one neighbor told him about his father. Christopher also used a secret book to write what happen or he was seeing by not showing his father. However, since the father had told him his mom had died due to heart attack, Christopher assumed his mother is dead already. He thought he has no mother anymore. One day Christopher's father found out that Christopher was detecting about the dead dog. Then he command Christopher not to go any neighbors house because Christopher's father was the murderer of the dog. He warned Christopher not even to take another step. He also founds Christopher's secret book and he hide it. His mom was still alive instead she lives in a different place, London. Christopher's mother had written a letter for several times. By contrast, Mr. Shears kept hiding the letter because he told Christopher already that his mom died because she had a heart attack. All in all Christopher's father told Christopher that he killed the neighbor's dog because Mrs. Shears doesn't wanted to live with him and the purpose was to piss her off. And he forgive Christopher for his brainwashing thoughts. Moreover, Christopher decided not to live with his father because he thought his father might kill him as well just like the dog. So Christopher move to London to find his mother and he brings her back to his father's house.

blue_butterfly_2610 Aug 31, 2013

Christopher John Francis Boone is a strange boy. One who does not like being yelled at or even touch. He knows all the countries in the world and every prime number up to 7,057. He detests the color yellow and brown. In this book Christopher not only solves the mystery of the killing of Wellington he writes a book about it. At the end he finds himself finding his so called dead mother.

SaanichLori Apr 26, 2011

A 15 year old autistic boy finds his neighbour's poodle dead with a garden fork through its body. At first he is accused of the murder, but after he is cleared, he decides to find out who the killer is.

Interesting note: the chapters are not sequential number, but rather prime numbers.

Notices

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anythingfantasygoes Aug 14, 2013

Coarse Language: This book has quite an amount of curse words in it, which is to be expected, sine it is in the young adult section.

f
Fantasylover97
Aug 08, 2011

Coarse Language: this book has some coarse languages throughout the story

i
imaginethat
Feb 10, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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