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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Paperback – May 18, 2004
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Late one night, Christopher comes across his neighbor'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 neighbors--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, Amazon.ca --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
That Haddon was able to write a book from Christopher's point of view with all his quirks and still make him lovable is extraordinary. By necessity, the writing is simple and unadorned, but the language of details elevates it from the mundane. The insertion of mathematical puzzles and drawings add to the reader's understanding of how Christopher's mind works. Haddon's real skill is an understatement that allows the reader to comprehend what is going on even if Christopher cannot. Although Christopher cannot grasp subtlety and nuances, the reader can, and that's where the true force of this exceptional novel lies.
This short, easy to read book can be completed in a couple of sittings, although its impact will last much longer. Highly recommended for a general readership.
I'm sure you already know what this book is focused on: a 15-year-old boy named Christopher, plagued by a case of autism more severe than my own, & he plays the literal-minded narrator. Indeed the author pulls very hard to make Christopher sound like an authentic autistic person, & I can't say he failed. This story is more about him than the murdered dog, his family's turmoil, anything.
& yet I had a very hard time liking Christopher. His character never shines a single moment of empathy for others. Very bluntly he tells his audience of the people surrounding him, but his voice holds such devoid distance as if these people are hollow shells not quite alive. At one point in the story, a torn person pleas for Christopher to hold their hand... just this once, & Christopher refuses apathically.
I strongly dislike being touched, however I will suck it up & allow myself to be touched or even reach out to hug someone if I feel they truly need it.
As much as I know that these are the lines that separate the mild from the severe cases, it still remains hard for me to feel for Christopher knowing that he cannot feel for others beyond himself. (On another note, some people with autism are known to feel physical pain with skin to skin contact. Christopher never mentions such a thing, so it seems clear that he `feels' like me when it comes to touching.)
Despite this stoic nature, the story unfolds in such a way that others' emotions bleed through the pages via bits of dialog & in their simple actions.Read more ›
I must respectfully disagree with the parent of a child with Asperger Syndrome whose rating of this book gave it only a "1."
I, too, have a child with Asperger Syndrome, and I found Haddon's novel to be an entertaining read, a fine story, and a rare peek inside the workings of my son's mind. Certainly Christopher isn't my child -- just as every literary hero or heroine is not an exact replica of a true life man or woman. I found surprising insight in how Christopher tells his story ... and it is insight into my own son and the other people I know who have autism. Christopher's eating preferences, literal thinking, sensory difficulties, and math facts as a calming technique seem quite accurate.
As to the comment about savant capabilities. People with Asperger Syndrome must have a perseverating interest; it is part of the psychiatric diagnosis. In creating a character whose interest is math, Haddon hasn't done "rainman" sterotyping, nor is he creating a circus freak to entertain us. He's shown us into one character's world.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I picked this book for book club b/c I had heard good things. It was just okay. The reviews were mixed at book club.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent play with incredible perspective and a lovable lead characterPublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Look into the mind of someone who doesn't quite see the world as we do. With all their anxieties. Quick easy readingPublished 3 days ago by Thea
No spoilers here. My husband, 16 yr old daughter, and I all LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. The only reason we give it a 4 star is because the book simply ended, and we felt that it... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Elaine M. Edelson
Although this book is fiction, I found many similarities to the children I taught in special education. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Connie Goodey