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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enlightening book and a terrific debut novel
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...
Published on June 21 2003 by Excession

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A light read
I found this book to be entertaining but not especially touching or engaging. After reading so many fabulous reviews I was disappointed after reading it. For people with no knowledge of autism this book can provide important insight into this world. I thought the book lacked direction but did a good job of developing the character and perspective of an autistic child.
Published on March 24 2005


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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
By 
Excession "excession" (Westfield, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
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
By 
Mark Wakely (Lombard, Illinois) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (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
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (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
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (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
By 
Jacquelyn M. Martin (Akron, OH United States) - See all my reviews
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Curiously good, July 11 2007
By 
P.C. (Wallingford) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Paperback)
I love any book that has an unusual premise or form. You know the ones I'm talking about. Think "Life of Pi," with its surprise ending or McCrae's "Katzenjammer" with it even MORE surprise ending and insightful construction. So it was only natural that I'd be drawn to "Curious Incident." Told through the eyes of an autistic teenager this is more than just an intersting look at "the other side." My only complaint with the book was that the kid (narrator) got on my nerves a bit. But then, I suppose that's the point--he also got on his parents nerves a lot, too.

This will not be everyone's type of read, but if you're looking for something that's really different, this is it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and surprising, Aug. 26 2004
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Paperback)
Unlike some of the recent novels I have read, this book does not rely on sentimental journeys into the past: the 1960's or the 1970's. The prose is crisp and the descriptions are specific. Working in mental health, I was pleased to see that the narrator's likes, dislikes and behaviours were not overly explained and were treated more as eccentricities. The story was acutely respectful without seeming 'politically correct'. The fact that the narrator may or may not be autistic was not the key factor to the novel and that made it all the more refreshing. Basically - it was a good story, well written and unique. I would recommend it to everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't read too many of these reviews!, Dec 20 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Paperback)
Some of these reviews give away far too many details about the book, the narrator, the dog, etc. I wish I'd just been told the bare minimum so I could have had more surprises, so I'll just say that I simply loved, loved, loved this book. If you loved Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife or Jennifer Paddock's A Secret Word, then you will love The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It would make a perfect gift, as I think all these titles would. They go above and beyond what the average novelist conceives. There's genius in the whole concept and in the structure and voice and spare readable sentences, everything.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and exceptional book., July 3 2009
By 
Pamela Morasse (Ottawa, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Paperback)
This book was absolutely extraordinary. I really loved it to the very last word. It`s my favorite book of all times, but that is because I`m really fascinated with their minds (people with autism). The book is original, witty and well written (you have to think that it is a child with autism that is the narrator). It even gave me goosebumps at one point. This book might not be for everyone, but for people who want more insight on the autistic mind it is a must-read.

I work with adults with autism (and I`ve also worked with children) and this book really shows you to an extent the way an autistic person thinks. It give you insight of how their minds could work. Of course, there are different types of autism, but you can still feel the anxiety when the main character describes it. I put myself in his shoes and started thinking like him, because I could see some aspects of the character in the people I work with. Every time, he did something or thought of something I could visualize them doing something similar or thinking the same way Christopher was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!, May 1 2009
By 
Jamieson Villeneuve "Author at Large" (Ottawa Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Paperback)
In Mark Haddon's amazing first novel, we meet fifteen year old Christopher Boone. Now, Christopher is no normal fifteen year old. He is obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, doesn't like people touching him, and detests the colours yellow and brown. He is also an idiot savant.

Christopher lives with his father in Swindon England. His mother has been dead for two years though he can still remember her. Christopher has a difficult life, but his father is trying to keep things together as much as he can. What Christopher doesn't know, however, is that his life is about to change drastically.

"It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs. Shears' house. Its eyes were closed. It looked as if it was running on its side, the way dogs run when they think they are chasing a cat in a dream. But the dog was not running or asleep. The dog was dead. There was a garden fork sticking out of the dog."

Christopher is able to relate better to animals than to people. As he holds Ms. Shears` dog in his arms, Christopher makes the decision to investigate what happened to the dog. He begins to write a book, the book we are holding. "This is a murder mystery novel," he says, though it is certainly not a conventional one. What Christopher finds out, however, may be more than he can handle.

This book is absolutely incredible. I was able to finish it in two days and I wished there was more. Not only is "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" one of the most wonderful books I have ever read, it is also one of the most creative. The entire narrative is told in Christopher's voice and follows his thought patterns. There are math puzzles riddled through out, information about space and stories about Sherlock Holmes. Through the entire book, Christopher is able to weave a story that is part mystery, part coming of age story and part puzzle.

What I found so engaging about the entire book is that it is all a puzzle. There is more going on than the death of the dog, as we soon find out. In order to have the mystery solved, there are a few other pieces of plot puzzle that had to fall into place. It's intelligently written and our narrator, Christopher, is the clearest voice I have heard in fiction in a long time. He engages you in the novel, pulls you into his story and doesn't let go until the book is done. You will probably want to read the book for a second time. It is just that good.

Despite the puzzles, the math problems, the mystery, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" is a wonderful book full of humor and true to life emotion. One page will have you laughing out loud and the next page will have you teary eyed. It's wonderful to read a work so full of emotion and life; it seems as if Christopher could jump off the page.

If you haven't read "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," read it. Your life won't be the same afterwards.
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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Paperback - May 18 2004)
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