Customer Reviews


1,363 Reviews
5 star:
 (920)
4 star:
 (302)
3 star:
 (71)
2 star:
 (24)
1 star:
 (46)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


322 of 331 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly astonishing!
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...
Published on 8 Mar 2004 by Nick Edwards

versus
265 of 293 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Adults book in a Children's Cover
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...
Published on 16 Aug 2004


‹ Previous | 1 2137 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

322 of 331 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly astonishing!, 8 Mar 2004
By 
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
By 
Jenni Doherty (Derry, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (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.
Incidentally, if you are to read only one book in the next 12 months, let it be this one. It more than deserves the recent accolade of 'Top Dog' in both the Guardian and Whitbread Awards for best book. This gem is a must and is star quality in new fiction writing regardless of age and background.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' - iz fab, 29 Nov 2005
***** ‘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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly moving and insightful, 6 April 2006
By 
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Paperback)
"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" tells the story of Christopher Boone, a 15 year old boy suffering from Aspergers syndrome. Although it is written in a blunt and easy-to-read way, told in first person, it also expresses an extremely indepth account into the life of someone with Aspergers Syndrome. It covers all the typical syndromes of the mental illness, such as being overly sensitive to certain senses, obsessive routines and having an exceptional skill or talent in a specific area; Christopher's being Maths and Space.
Mark Hadden writes this book in a very clever way; the things he writes do not directly express emotion within the character himself, however to the read it is a very moving story. For example, Christopher does not like it when people touch him or get too close to him. Therefore, instead of cuddling people close to him, ie his Father, they will instead pan out their fingers and touch each others fingers as a way of saying "I love you."
This book makes you think twice about people who appear different to you in someway or other. It shows how people with Aspergers Syndrome (and other illnesses) can be misjudged and this is continually expressed all the way throughout the book in various circumstances and situations.
During reading, a sense of understanding grows between you and Christopher, so much that you know what is coming next, but not in a tedious and boring way; more a feeling of satisfaction. For example, Christopher has a strong dislike for the colours yellow and brown, so when something of that colour is mentioned, you are already in line with his thoughts before you have read the next line.
This detailed insight into Aspergers Syndrome gives you such specific knowledge of it that your first-thoughts of Christophers opinions that seem difficult to grasp, generally bizarre and not very understandable in the slightest, in fact soon seem to make perfect sense to you.
As well as an amazingly well written, and understandable insight into a boys mind with Aspergers Syndrome, Mark Haddens book displays an extremely moving novel that will stay in your mind days after reading it. Especially when you pass 4 yellow cars on your way to work..
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Actually, factually, really., 15 Aug 2004
By 
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Paperback)
When something has happened to you and you want to tell about it, you don't ACTUALLY say what has happened to you. You give your interpretation of what happened. You leave out some details and then add some graphic descriptions for good measure. And no one thinks less of you, because that is simply how we talk, right?
Not so for Christopher Boone. Christopher has Asperger's Syndrome and is very into truth. As far as Christopher is concerned, there is only one truth and there is no such thing as "truth being in the eye of the beholder". And since he loves the truth so much, who better than he to find out what happened to the neighbour's murdered dog?
So that\s what Christopher does. Which is not easy, really. I bet when you drive to work, along the same road you've been driving every day for the past years, you don't see much of the road itself. You see the traffic moving (or not), and you see the traffic lights changing, and that's about it. Again, not so for Christopher. He knows EVERYTHING there is to see along the road to his school. He knows what all the signs say and how many tiles there are in the sidewalk. He can draw you a detailed map even. Which is good, for a detective, but it also means he is easily overwhelmed by the sheer amount of details he has to process.
The way Christopher thinks is so different from the way of thinking of a normal human being, that it is amazing the book is still so easy to read. It really draws you into Christopher's world, one where Things are easy and People are difficult. Reading how hard some things for Christopher are, I realised how complicated the human mind really is. We base our lives on interpretations of situations, rather than on facts. Look at how Christopher explains how he found the dog, and then tells you the dog was PROBABLY killed with the garden fork because he could see no other wounds, and he doesn't think dogs die of cancer or car accidents (there is a garden fork sticking out of the dog at this time).
Throughout the book it becomes clear what a superhuman effort his father has made to offer Christopher a life as normal as possible. Of course, this is difficult to recognise for Christopher.
The book is funny because of the distant way Christopher talks; it's highly interesting because of the insight he gives in his thought process (he really is much more aware of how he thinks than I am of how I think). It's also sad, not only because of the current turmoil in his life, but also because, were he "normal" (if there is such a thing), Christopher would be on the brink of manhood.
Beautiful in it's simplicity.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone's barking about it, 2 Sep 2006
By 
Sarakani (Harrow United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Paperback)
This book was forced on me by my mother. Everyone of a literary bent who I've spoken to including many of my friends all know about it. We seem to regard this book as a pretty brilliant read.

Living in England the outstanding quality of the work is the way it captures something of this country, particularly in London like patterns on the seats of an underground train or the details of shops - familiar to some of us - in a way that makes them stand out. We no more take them for granted. This is about our everyday world that is so often not mentioned in specific. In this context this book is very much a British work that relates to an English setting from the time it was written in terms of environments, names, dialogues, educational institutes/systems and everyday lives and problems.

The protagonist is incapable of feeling the emotions of others and the book is very much an exploration of feeling. I've heard that the book is a very accurate portrait of autistic thinking and it seems to be based on a great deal of research and experience.

This book is audacious in its style but the story itself is no tangle. There were so many scientific and mathematical details in the book that the character relates that really taught me something I had no grasp of.

I cannot truly confess to understanding the feelings of others but this book leads me to understand those who feel them and their own feelings differently - perhaps less. The protagonist is not devoid of feeling but they are not registered so consciously except perhaps for the key emotions like sadness or fear.

When his mother cries with grief all he observes is that she wails like an animal in a TV documentary. He cannot feel her pain. But his emotions are registered by him reacting violently at a physical level even though he can't explain them. Such contents evoke a certain humour but also a deep pain which is never expressed explicitly. But the teenager does have a firm notion of right and wrong which we cannot disagree with and a good sense of direction - even if he can't explain why being so daunted by the complexity of the future. Thus he has an inimitable form of wisdom that guides him and helps him cope.

The protagonist comes across generously in sharing his autistic world with us which is not a cold one and often highly mathematical and logical. Optimistic at the end, this is a profoundly effective style of simple narrative designed to convey something of the universe, England and human emotion.

Graphics, maps and diagrams uniquely keep the work afloat and animated. We literally see how the boy thinks at a visual level.

I think the book emphasises the importance of feelings in our world and how we relate to them and manipulate them. It challenges our sense of values in the context of feelings and hopefully encourages us to develop our sensitivity to our feelings and those of others.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An autistic boy tries to make sense of his world., 2 Oct 2003
By 
E. Bukowsky "booklover10" (NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Mark Haddon's touching novel, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," is the story of a British fifteen-year-old boy named Christopher Boone. Christopher has a form of autism. He is a genius in math and science, but he has trouble understanding facial expressions and he communicates with others without making eye contact. He abhors being touched by anyone, and he groans and withdraws when he is upset. Christopher goes to a special school and he clings to the routines that make his life bearable.
One night, Christopher's orderly world is shaken when he finds a neighbor's dog, Wellington, dead of stab wounds. Christopher loves dogs and he determines to use his sharp mind to find out who killed Wellington. Christopher's father orders his son in the strictest terms not to stick his nose into other people's affairs. However, Christopher ignores his father's orders and his investigation leads him down some unexpected paths.
Haddon's book is a brilliant journey into a world that few people can even contemplate. What must it be like to have a literal mind that can process only certain types of arcane information but is powerless to handle the everyday social interactions that we all take for granted? Haddon, who has worked with autistic individuals, has deep compassion for Christopher. By writing this book from Christopher's point of view, the author enables the reader to feel this boy's confusion, anger, and heartbreak as his life begins to unravel. Haddon not only lifts the curtain on an autistic's boy's world, but he also explores the strain that having such a child places on his parents.
"The Curious Incident" is eloquent, poignant, darkly humorous, and unforgettable. I predict that this book will become a classic and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the intricate workings of the human mind and heart.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, sensitive, and very, very funny., 30 Jan 2004
By 
Mrs Nel Eyre (Selby, North Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I read this book, despite my reservations (due to the grisly cover), on recommendation from an Educational Psychologist I know. She wasn't wrong, I loved it! However, you don't need to be an Ed. Psych. or even interested in the subject to like this book.
It grips from page one and sucks you in, spitting you out, satisfied and not a little damp about the edges on the last page. The style is simple and mesmerizing, written from the main characters point of view.
This main character is a young man with Aspergers Syndrome. A milder form of Autism. He has difficulty understanding people, especially on a social level. All his interactions are learned responses, which leads to some interesting insights into behaviour! For example, he does not like to be touched (a fairly tyical characteristic of Aspergers)so when a policeman grabs him... he hits him... quite matter of factly, with the same "voice" as "Readers, I married him!"
The book is an odyssey, both literally and metaphorically. The boy takes a journey and learns to deal with the rest of his life. The reader begins the journey to understand, or at least acknowledge, that people are unique, but still universal in their needs for acceptance and love.
A unique story that will make you laugh aloud and weep by turns. Read this when you have time, because it is torture to put down before the end. Above all, enjoy it, it is one of a kind.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The curious incident of the world turned upside down., 2 Feb 2005
By 
Dee-Dee (Ely, Cambridgeshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Paperback)
Ever since the publication of this book, there has been a lot of stuff out there saying it is 'about' Asperger's syndrome. There are even critical reviews picking through the information and criticizing it in clinical terms. Every one of those has missed the point. Yes, the story is told by a boy with Asperger's syndrome, and very interesting that is too, but as far as novels are 'about' something this one is about - us. The wonder of this book is not its portrayal of a weird way of looking at the world, but its portrayal of the world as weird. Our world. We are looking at so-called normal human interaction from Christopher's perspective, and it looks completely ridiculous.
The emotional tangle of the grown-ups in Christopher's life, their lies, their self-destructive behaviour and general chaos, all these are incomprehensible to him - and watching them through his eyes we can see why. They are barking mad (no pun intended). So is the whole world, as seen through Christopher's eyes. He prefers dogs. Well yes, you would do, wouldn't you? After reading this, you'll wonder whether we all should.
This is a book that works on every level: it is very very funny, the plot twists and turns, it's an effortless read. But it is also profoundly subversive. Normal life doesn't look quite the same after reading it. Where I come from, a writer who can do that is called a genius.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


103 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Food = Yummy!, 18 Sep 2003
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Novels written from the perspective of a mentally disabled protagonist are a tricky business, they can easily veer into condescension, mawkishness, or quirkiness for its own sake. Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn is a recent excellent example of a highly entertaining book which avoids these pitfalls, and this story about a 15-year-old boy with a highly functional form of autism (Asperger's syndrome) is another. Christopher lives in Swindon ("the armpit of England") with his widowed father, excels in math, can't read people's expressions, doesn't understand statements that aren't literal, and has severe color issues (for example, red foods are good, brown foods are not). The story begins when Christopher discovers his neighbor's dog dead, with a garden tool sticking out of it. Someone has clearly murdered the dog, and in the spirit of his favorite fictional character, Sherlock Holmes, he sets out to discover who the villain is. A social worker at his school helps him record his investigation in book form-thus explaining the novel. Christopher encounters inexplicable adult resistance to his desire to investigate, which by a quirk of fate, leads him to investigate his dead mother. At which point the book takes on a classic quest structure and the dead dog is left behind.
The real joy of the book is not its plot (which is skimpy and turns into a soap opera in the final third), but its nuanced portrait of the challenges faced by the mildly autistic, and by those who raise them. Christopher's sensitivity to noise, crowds, colors, and especially being touched, is shown in vivid detail (Some reviewers have criticized the character of Christopher as having many behavioral tics that would be cured in a few years therapy, however they seem to have missed the point that his father is a lower-middle class, blue-collar worker, and by inference could never hope to afford therapy.). At the same time there's no attempt to build Christopher into a figure of pity: he's clever, persistent, irritable, and sometimes irritating -a fully rounded character who simply operates in a slightly different world than most of us. The prose is very simple and direct, as one might expect from a young boy, making accessible to younger readers (although parents should be aware that there are four-letter words present). If for no other reason, the book is worth reading for the humanistic and empathetic portrayal of a mentally disabled youth, and will help any reader better understand the challenges facing those with mild autism.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2137 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon (Paperback - 1 April 2004)
£3.85
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews