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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Today Show Book Club #13) [Hardcover]

Mark Haddon
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enlightening book and a terrific debut novel June 21 2003
Format:Hardcover
This is a very unusual novel mostly because of the narrator's autism. Simple to read, the novel has an interesting rhythm to it as the reader becomes more familiar with Christopher's disability. While I initially thought it would become repetitive, the story takes some turns to make it a consistently enjoyable reading experience.
Christopher begins to write the book to solve the mystery of the murder of Wellington, a neighbor's dog, like his hero Sherlock Holmes. Along the way, we learn about his family situation, his view of the world, his idiosyncrasies, and his school life. He's not exactly an unreliable narrator, but the author does an excellent job of imagining the problems involved when the storyteller has autism and the story is consistent with this perspective.
While not a perfect book, I would recommend this highly, especially to people who want a fresh and different reading experience. It's not at all preachy, and it deals with a little understood disability with honesty; this reader came away from the book with a new understanding of the difficulties of dealing with autism. It is well worth your time to pick this one up.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Captivaring Sept. 15 2005
Format:Paperback
As both an author and father of a child with Asperger's, I was drawn to this book to see if Haddon could truly capture the unique brilliance and absent social skills of an autistic boy. Not only does he succeed at the task, he adds a healthy dash of humor while avoiding the easy trap of pathos a lesser author might have fallen into. The book is stunning in its accuracy of how those with autism view the world and- just as important- how the world views them. It is this last viewpoint that elevates the book to more than just clever, because we see through Christopher's literal-minded eyes the duplicity of the "normal" world, the world that all assume must be superior. In a way, Haddon's book reminds me of that great short story "Gimpel the Fool" by Isaac Bashevis Singer, a story of a simple man who believes all the lies he's told. In the end, it's not those who tried to trick him, but Gimpel himself who's revealed to be the wisest one for remaining firm in his belief that goodness will prevail. So too does Christopher prevail, his detective work unveiling the truth and overcoming all the futile attempts to thwart or dismiss his meticulous investigation.
I don't know if I'll ever write a book with an autistic character, but thanks to Mr. Haddon, I feel like it's already been done for me.
Strongly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Educating entertainment May 25 2006
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Mark Haddon's real-life experience with autistic children allowed him to craft this masterpiece by providing the perspective of a young autistic teenager's mind. Christopher's why of thinking - and consequently, his actions - make logical sense, but because he lacks a normal person's ability to make intuitive connections or understand the unspoken, Christopher has to rely on the imperfect set of rules he's learned about human behavior. Haddon is a subtle and sensitive writer, leaving it to us to draw the conclusions that Christopher can't. I thoroughly enjoyed Christopher's often poetic digressions on mathematics, religion, astronomy, and cosmology, which helped bring his character alive and provided humor as well as food for thought. This is a book that I highly recommend to everybody - it is not only an interesting read, but also a great learning experience. For the same reason (educating entertainment) I also recommend a series of 3 children's books titled "Why some cats are rascals"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not about the poodle Nov. 26 2004
Format:Paperback
Light in emotions but deep in description - Haddon has obviously used his experience working with autistic children to great advantage. The result, Christopher Boone. A very raw, well developed character - with realistic ideas about life, and simple views and perspective into humanity. Other characters introduced and situations explored in the novel are quite complex in detail - however Haddon's writing style provides wonderful insight into these situations, as the reader is able to perceive these instances through Christopher's simplistic reasoning.
To be completely honest in my review, I'm no genius, and found a lot of the mathematical parts confusing. Haddon has done quite well simplifying them in layman's terms, though often I found myself skimming over these parts.
The content of these parts is in fact of little importance and by skimming over them I was only further emphasizing the idea that Christopher Boone is a mathematical genius. And Haddon has done particularly well in conveying this through his novel with colorful descriptions and diagrams.
A 2-4 hour read, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME is very well presented. The cover has a hole-punched dog, which looks through to a page of reviews on the novel. This book would make a great gift for anyone from teen to elderly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Artfully Autistic Feb. 11 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
If having autism could be demonstrated quite literally, this book is it! I have known many individuals with autism over the last 30 years and I saw many of them in the character of the narrator, Christopher. Christopher's character is the essence of the person with autism, who wants the world to be well-ordered and logical. He does mathematical equations in his head to get calm and I wish that would work for me!
I loved reading Christopher's thought processes thoughout the book. Christopher decides to investigate who murdered Wellington, the neighbor's dog. His father tells him to mind his own business and not investigate. But Christopher thinks about what Sherlock Holmes would do and investigates anyway. Christopher reasons that most people who kill others usually kill someone they know and are close to. He then reasons it would not unusual to be murdered by someone in your family on Christmas Day!
This book is a work of art and it provides pathos, wisdom and understanding to the curious world of people with autism in the daytime and the nighttime.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great work. Although hidden under a deceptively simple discourse, its depth is remarkable.
Published 17 days ago by Nelly Martinez
3.0 out of 5 stars The book itself was so-so.
The book came in the time stated and was in the shape stated. The book itself was hard to get into and I had to force myself to finish it.
Published 3 months ago by elliemae79
4.0 out of 5 stars great!
this is a great book. the story is about a boy with autism, it's awsome, you guys should read it!
Published 5 months ago by CYNTHIA PENG
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to have and share
Read this book in English literature class . Gave it to a patient who had a grandson with autism . Can't deny the fact this is a very good book . Higly recommend if
Published 5 months ago by Marina
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read to understand the world we live in and ourselves
I found this book quite bizzare at first. It offers a prospective of an autistic person on the world. It immitates the specifics of the logic of such person. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Olena Bada
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific insight into what life might be like for a sufferer of...
Part story, primarily observations, this book explores the isolated world of an adolescent child suffering from Asperger’s syndrome. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Len
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Such an interesting read - I was required to read this for a university course studying autism, but I would recommend outside of studies too.
Published 10 months ago by Liddy Swales
4.0 out of 5 stars Never read a book like this one!
A most amazing read! I cannot think of anything to which I might compare it. Closest I can imagine might be Flowers for Algernon so far as being brought into the perspective of a... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr. D. John Mclean
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I loved it, short and sweet read it in one setting. Loved the atmosphere it gave off. I would recommend.
Published 13 months ago by Caitlyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book
I read this book for the first time when I was about 16. 6 years later it is still as endearing as the day I picked it up.
A must read for any age.
Published 23 months ago by Christina
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