- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Anchor Canada; 1 edition (May 18 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385659806
- ISBN-13: 978-0385659802
- Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 240 g
- Average Customer Review: 201 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Paperback – May 18 2004
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Mark Haddon's bitterly funny first 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. Christopher John Francis Boone is a 15-year-old boy, 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 behaviour of his elders and peers.
Late one night, Christopher comes across his neighbour'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 neighbours--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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Named one of TIME’s Best Young Adult Books of All Time
“The book gave me that rare, greedy feeling of: this is so good I want to read it all at once but I mustn’t or it will be over too soon. Haddon pulls off something extraordinary . . .” -- The Observer
“Always surprising and often hilarious.” -- The Globe and Mail
“One of the most affecting things I’ve read in years . . . it’ s brilliant.” -- The Guardian
“Mark Haddon’s new novel comes with glowing endorsements from Ian McEwan and Oliver Sacks . . . For once, the pundits speak the truth.” -- The Economist
“A stark, funny and original first novel . . . [with] one of the strangest and most convincing characters in recent fiction.” -- The New York Times Book Review
“A brilliant autism novel has been overdue -- and this is it! The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Mark Haddon shows great insight into the autistic mind, and he brings his young narrator protagonist quite wonderfully to life. I found it very moving, very plausible -- and very funny.” -- Oliver Sacks, author of Uncle Tungsten
"I have never read anything quite like Mark Haddon's funny and agonizingly honest book, or encountered a narrator more vivid and memorable. I advise you to buy two copies; you won’t want to lend yours out." -- Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha
“The Curious Incident brims with imagination, empathy, and vision -- plus it's a lot of fun to read.” -- Myla Goldberg, author of Bee Season
“Mark Haddon’s portrayal of an emotionally disassociated mind is a superb achievement. He is a wise and bleakly funny writer with rare gifts of empathy.” -- Ian McEwan, author of Atonement
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
It is nowhere mentioned that Christopher is autistic – although it is obvious to anyone who has basic knowledge on the subject – so I don’t see why people insist on using autism as a sales pitch. It is quite obvious that the writer didn’t want to put a label on him. And in fact, I wouldn’t even say that his autism was one of my favourite aspects of the book. On the contrary, I found him very “textbook” autistic – as in very stereotypical. Which is okay, but there is so much more to this book than that.
Christopher might seem very different at first, especially for a close-to-100% neurotypical reader (which I’m not, I’m 50-50 so to me he wasn’t that much “weirder” than the 90%+ neurotypical characters I read about all the time), but as the story progresses I think most people could realize he’s more like them than they would ever have thought. Which is often the case with anyone you think is “different”.
The characters are all unique, believable and not always very sympathetic. I had very mixed feelings for almost every character in the book (except Mrs Alexander, she’s the best). They were mostly loveable, but then they did that thing of which I disapproved (a different thing for each). However, that’s part of what made them so realistic. I felt deeply, in particular, for Christopher’s parents.
That being said, to me the most interesting aspects of this book were the plot and theme. Although Christopher keeps saying that “this is not a proper novel”, I think it is. There are several interesting mystery and adventure elements, but mostly it’s a story about life and how different people deal with it.
The main theme, to me, was that of courage. In the later half of the book, Christopher shows the kind of real-life courage that cannot fail to have an impact on me. Some other characters also show their courage… or lack of it.
Finally, this novel is refreshingly non-moralistic. Good people do good things and bad things. They care for the people they like and want to protect them, but they hurt them too, sometimes. They don’t mean it. Sometimes emotions cloud their judgement, sometimes they can’t understand how the other person thinks, and sometimes, one person’s needs are simply too much for what the other person can give. There are all three examples through the story and I *loved* that.
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.
Mark Haddon, author of this wonderful book, brilliantly makes Christopher his narrator--a boy unable to fathom emotions but telling a highly emotional tale. The voice is fresh, the story engaging, and the plot twists enough to wrench the reader's heart, no matter how cynical. I strongly recommend this novel...and if you enjoy it, also try "Motherless Brooklyn" by Jonathan Lethem.
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category