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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time [Paperback]

Mark Haddon
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,195 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

31 Mar 2004

Winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year

'Outstanding...a stunningly good read' Observer

'Mark Haddon's portrayal of an emotionally dissociated mind is a superb achievement... Wise and bleakly funny' Ian McEwan

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour's dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time + Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (SparkNotes Literature Guide) + The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Cambridge Wizard English Student Guides)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (31 Mar 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099450259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099450252
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.5 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Haddon is an author, illustrator and screenwriter who has written fifteen books for children and won two BAFTAs. His bestselling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, was published simultaneously by Jonathan Cape and David Fickling in 2003. It won seventeen literary prizes, including the Whitbread Award. His poetry collection, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, was published by Picador in 2005, and his last novel, The Red House, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2012. He lives in Oxford.

Product Description

Amazon Review

The title The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (or the curious incident of the dog in the night-time as it appears within the book) is an appropriate one for Mark Haddon's ingenious novel both because of its reference to that most obsessive and fact-obsessed of detectives, Sherlock Holmes, and because its lower-case letters indicate something important about its narrator.

Christopher is an intelligent youth who lives in the functional hinterland of autism--every day is an investigation for him because of all the aspects of human life that he does not quite get. When the dog next door is killed with a garden fork, Christopher becomes quietly persistent in his desire to find out what has happened and tugs away at the world around him until a lot of secrets unravel messily.

Haddon makes an intelligent stab at how it feels to, for example, not know how to read the faces of the people around you, to be perpetually spooked by certain colours and certain levels of noise, to hate being touched to the point of violent reaction. Life is difficult for the difficult and prickly Christopher in ways that he only partly understands; this avoids most of the obvious pitfalls of novels about disability because it demands that we respect--perhaps admire--him rather than pity him. --Roz Kaveney


"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

"A delightful and brilliant book. Very moving, very plausible and very funny"--Oliver Sacks

"Brilliantly empathetic. Believe the hype: a brilliant, heart-warming book"--Scotsman

"A remarkable book. An impressive achievement and a rewarding read"--Time Out

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
306 of 315 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly astonishing! 8 Mar 2004
Many of the people who have reviewed this book have first hand experience of children with behavioural problems, or links to Aspergers and / or Autism. They have (almost entirely) commented on how this book reflects in some way their experiences or that of friends or relatives. They have almost all enjoyed the book, and having read these reviews you may feel that, if you have no such experience, the book may not appeal to you.
Well, I personally have no experience in these areas, and I can honestly say that this has gone straight into my all time top 5 reads!
The story is wonderfully crafted, and not a page goes by when you do not learn something new about Christopher, the central character who has, I understand, though it is not stated in the book, Aspergers Syndrome (the book is actually written entirely from Christophers perspective).
This is one of those rare books that makes you want to discuss (not just talk about) the story. My wife and I both read it over the same weekend, and we kept finding ourselves going back to it to talk through some of the difficulties that Christopher faced, and how it must be to have to deal with them, either as the child or as a parent. This story really gives an insight into a mind which, in some ways, is far more developed than the mind of an "ordinary" person. It also gives you a feel for what it must be like to need complete structure and order to a life which can never absolutely have both. The lack of what you and I would call "emotion" was in itself deeply moving, and several times I found myself asking how I would cope if one of my two children had the same difficulties.
This is a remarkable book. If only everyone could read it, society would become a much more understanding and accepting place for those who suffer from the effects of conditions such as Aspergers, ADHD and Autism.
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118 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incidently, the Most Wonderful Book I've Read! 5 Feb 2004
This is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. He is fifteen and has Asperger’s, a form of Autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth and owns a pet rat called Toby. He hates the colours yellow and brown and hates being touched. He knows it’s going to be a good day if he passes red cars on his way to school on the bus. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey, which will turn his whole world upside down.
Haddon has created a wonderfully brilliant character. His depiction of Christopher’s world is deeply moving, very funny and utterly convincing. He shows a unique insight into the autistic mind of the unlikely teenage detective who stumbles on everyday normalities as obstacles which further leads him to unearthing secrets that shock and startle him into running away.
What drives Haddon’s tale, however, is his empathy for his protagonist: it might have been easy to make Christopher an amusing suburban hybrid of Forest Gump and Adrian Mole, but the author digs deeper, mining a deeper emotional truth with a rigorous sense of purpose, one expressly devoid of cheap homily. He also knows a damn good page-turner: the emotional beats here are resonant and well deserved, the key plot revelations affecting, and the payoff deeply satisfying.
Although a work of fiction, it is both an educational and vividly honest adaptation of the trails and hurdles that people like Christopher undergo on a daily basis and that most of us are unaware of. A lesson can surely be learned from reading this boy’s curiously different story.
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257 of 283 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Adults book in a Children's Cover 16 Aug 2004
By A Customer
If I were reviewing this as an adult's book then I would award it 5 stars without any hesitation. Any book that holds my attention to such a degree that I read it in one sitting certainly deserves that, despite the fact that towards the end I started to lose sympathy for the narrator.
However, this review deals with the so-called Children's Edition. Although the text is clear and simple, this is NOT in my opinion a book for children; young adults yes, but not children. The bad language and profanities throughout the text make it unsuitable. I lost count of the amount of times I read the 'F' word and worse. The narrator's mental problem means he remembers everything he sees/hears in detail and can repeat it verbatim. In one passage, he does this with words he sees written on a tube station wall, repeating something I wish no child of mine to read. Doubtless, kids hear language as bad, and worse, every day at school, but that doesn't automatically mean that responsible parents want them reading it at home.
Don't let the bright childlike cover-art on this edition, or the fact it is frequently seen displayed beside Rowling and Snicket, fool you into thinking it is suitable for ages 12 and under. If you are the broad-minded parent of a precocious child, then go ahead; however, discerning parents may wish to check this book out BEFORE ordering a copy for a child. I feel it only fair to make this clear. After all, television programmes that use bad language before the watershed are obliged to broadcast a warning beforehand.
This is already a best-selling adult book. Children aren't children for long; this book will be around for years, they can always read it a year or two later.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars if you havent read this you should
its a truly amazing book that i have read multiple times and love. its a great book for anyone over the age of 13, adults and teens alike
Published 1 day ago by AmiahM
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Fantastic read, relates to my life in many ways.

Made me smile, made me sad but so amazing to really see the world through the eyes of a person with ASD.
Published 2 days ago by Kayla
4.0 out of 5 stars A really moving read........
A moving read that gave an enlightening account of an existence inside the 'cocoon' that autistic disorder seems to be, and an indication of the strain and turmoil loved ones have... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Busybee
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Everyone needs to read this book. Gives amazing insight in to how other minds work. Moving and inspiring. Made me :) and :( but mainly :) Love it! ;)
Published 6 days ago by PC
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating
This book gives a great insight into how people on the Autistic spectrum think and feel. Highly recommend this book
Published 8 days ago by BTMcG
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely good book that everyone should read.
Simply stunning novel that is a joy to read from start to finish. Entertaining and extraordinary from start to finish, the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a... Read more
Published 8 days ago by The Supreme Reviewer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
This is a good book and I really enjoyed reading it and found it very interesting to get a insight into a autistic persons life overall a good read!
Published 13 days ago by Sarah Robson
5.0 out of 5 stars struggled to put the book down
This book gave a fabulous insight into the mind of an autistic person. Everyone should read this book to help them understand better what life is like for the families, and for... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Island Girl
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful :)
A very thought provoking and insightful book. Sensitively written delving into the mind of a special needs child's mind. I found it interesting and heartfelt.
Published 15 days ago by Tara Gellett
5.0 out of 5 stars Different.
Definitely worth reading.fascinating insight into the world of an autistic child. Well thought out and an interesting read. The end
Published 16 days ago by Carol
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