The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Mark Haddon’s debut novel is a very strange book.  The title alone is enough to make you wonder about the book, but it turned out to be a very intriguing read as well.

Book Stats

221 pages

Stand Alone book

Mystery/Drama

Characters

The main character of this book is Christopher Boone.  It’s never specified exactly what his condition is, but I would venture a guess that he is Autistic, maybe leaning closer to Asperger Syndrome.  Either way, he has a very unique way of looking at the world, and it shows up in this book from the first pages.  The chapters in this book are not numbered in normal numbers, but rather ascending prime numbers.  Chris was very consistent in his thinking throughout the book, and the narration was very interesting to read, in large part because it was so unique compared to other books.

Setting

The book is set primarily in Swindon England, but includes other sections from other areas of England as well.

Plot

The book starts out very simply, Chris is wandering around the neighborhood at night because he can’t sleep.  He finds that Wellington, the neighbor’s dog from across the street, has been killed.  From here Chris starts to explore what happened to Wellington and begins to learn quite a bit about both Wellington and his family’s past as well.

Enjoyment

Having recently read Room by Emma Donoghue, the style of this book is very reminiscent of Room.  Chris was an interestingly written character who was very intelligent but had very poor social skills.  The book was a very quick read (I started it this morning and finished it this afternoon) and it was a fun book to read as well.  In between the narrative there are short interludes with Chris explaining various aspects of his personality, such as why he doesn’t like the colors yellow or brown and why seeing 4 red cars in a row made it a Good Day, or why prime numbers are fascinating.

Overall Grade

This was a fun book to read, it was stylistically very well written and Chris was an interesting character to read about.

7/10

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5 Comments

  1. I haven’t read this book but I’m pretty sure the title comes from one of the Sherlock Holmes short stories.
    I cant remember which story but a detective asks Holmes what should they focus their attention on while investigating a murder, Holmes replies “to the curious case of the dog in the night time.” Detective : “but the dog did nothing during the night.” Holmes : “Thats whats curious.”

    Reply
  2. I quite enjoyed this book when I read it some years back. It is a bit like Room, now that you mention it.

    Reply
    • They are similar, but distinct enough to where if I hadn’t read them as closely as I did I might not have noticed it.

      Reply
  3. My cousin has an autistic child and she has told me that I must read this one.

    Reply
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