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

Mark Haddon
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,339 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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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,339 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165 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

Review

"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
319 of 328 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly astonishing! 8 Mar 2004
Format:Hardcover
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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127 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incidently, the Most Wonderful Book I've Read! 5 Feb 2004
Format:Paperback
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Captivaring 16 Sep 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.

Mark Wakely, author of An Audience for Einstein
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
***** ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’
This unique book gives the reader an insight into the mind of an autistic teenage boy. Fifteen-year-old Christopher has a photographic memory and is a maths genius, but what he doesn’t understand is other people’s thoughts and emotions. The book starts off as a murder mystery novel after Christopher finds a neighbour’s dog lying dead on the lawn with a garden fork sticking rigidly out of its side. Christopher begins an investigation to find the culprit… but does he really want to know the results? And other secrets are released on the way – if only Christopher knew what he was about to unleash…
If you are looking for an original book you simply don’t want to put down this is definitely the book for you. For teenage boys and girls alike, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ is a book that allows the reader to connect with the main character – laughing out loud and silently crying!
luv Kelly! x
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Excellant read
Published 2 hours ago by Jude Bessell
5.0 out of 5 stars Woahhhh
This is a book you just cannot stop reading! It's got a few complex algebra stuff but it just shows how Christopher thinks! Read more
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating read...
excellent, thrilling, loving - surprised that I hadn't been aware of it years ago
Published 2 days ago by Peter A Tod
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing book truly powerful
amazing inspiring heart wrenchong god damn cringey classic by mark haddon the only book ever go make want to write storys. modern.classic.
Published 2 days ago by Mr. S. Buckley
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book. I'd recommend it to anyone
A brilliant book. I'd recommend it to anyone.
Published 3 days ago by Lisamay
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I've been meaning to read this book for quite some time, and I'm so glad that I did. I absolutely loved the narrative, and a real insight into the life of someone with... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Wooky1
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good for Kids
Published 6 days ago by Mrs Rene Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed the e-book right to the very end.
Published 6 days ago by Jean E Lobo
5.0 out of 5 stars Giles (9 yrs old)
Very exciting mystery. Highly recommended even for my age . There where some surprises round every corner. Very amazing book !
Published 6 days ago by MarthaD
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book about a boy with autism
A brilliant book about a boy with autism. It gives great insight into the minds of such people although I know it affects everyone differently and to varying degrees. Read more
Published 8 days ago by C. A. Osborne
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