12 September 2008 ~ 1 Comment

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


I read this a couple of years ago (actually twice, once for myself and once for my book club – and now my other book club chose it, so I read it again). Overachiever much? Anyway, this is what I said then and it still applies, so I’m cheating on this review 😉

I finished reading this book last night and I’m still not sure if I liked it. I loved the format and I loved that it was written from the boy’s point of view. I loved that it gave me a better understanding of how an autistic’s person’s mind works. The main story seemed to just “end” abruptly though, mystery over… then we are on to a totally different story. It felt very disjointed at times. But at the same time, I think that was the whole point, this is how he thinks and this is what he feels (and doesn’t feel).

Overall, it was a good book and I’d recommend it, but I think this is a book I’ll be thinking about in the coming months, still trying to sort it out in my own mind.

VERY well written and being the math geek that I am, I loved that aspect of it! I also found that the boy, I believe, sometimes has a better grasp of the world around him that we do… interesting.

ETA: I meant to say something about the chapter numbers. When I started it, I saw “2” and started freaking out wondering where “1” was… then it went to 3 and I figured I missed a chapter, so I went back and nothing (at this point I’m convinced my book is missing a chapter) until I see 5 (where is 4????)… I was very happy when they explained where the numbers went! *laughing* I’m so anal sometimes!


Christopher Boone is a fifteen and has Asperger’s, a form of autism. He knows a great deal about math and very little about human beings. When he finds his neighbors’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his world upside down.


Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’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 favorite 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 he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn 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 emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debuts in years: a comedy, a heartbreaker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.

One Response to “(Book) the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon”

  1. Fortier Family 12 September 2008 at 7:31 pm Permalink

    I, too, read this for book club a couple of years ago, and it continues to be one of my favorites. I got it from the library initially, and then I found it at a garage sale for a quarter. WHAT A FIND!! I snapped it up and the lady selling it siad, “Good luck reading that book. Its so poorly written. Its like reading the rambling thoughts of someone whose not that intelligent.” I explained that it was written from the POV of a boy with autism. She just “harrumphed” and went on to bad-mouth the book to her friend as I walked away, trying not to do a happy dance that I scored my own copy for so cheap!

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