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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Paperback – Illustrated, May 18, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 6,839 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From The New Yorker

The fifteen-year-old narrator of this ostensible murder mystery is even more emotionally remote than the typical crime-fiction shamus: he is autistic, prone to fall silent for weeks at a time and unable to imagine the interior lives of others. This might seem a serious handicap for a detective, but when Christopher stumbles on the dead body of his neighbor's poodle, impaled by a pitchfork, he decides to investigate. Christopher understands dogs, whose moods are as circumscribed as his own ("happy, sad, cross and concentrating"), but he's deaf to the nuances of people, and doesn't realize until too late that the clues point toward his own house and a more devastating mystery. This original and affecting novel is a triumph of empathy; whether describing Christopher's favorite dream (of a virus depopulating the planet) or his vision of the universe collapsing in a thunder of stars, the author makes his hero's severely limited world a thrilling place to be.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

Review

“Gloriously eccentric and wonderfully intelligent.” —The Boston Globe

“Moving. . . . Think of The Sound and the Fury crossed with The Catcher in the Rye and one of Oliver Sacks’s real-life stories.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"This is an amazing novel. An amazing book." —The Dallas Morning News

“A superb achievement. He is a wise and bleakly funny writer with rare gifts of empathy.” —Ian McEwan, author of Atonement

“Brilliant. . . . Delightful. . . . Very moving, very plausible—and very funny.” —Oliver Sacks

“Superb. . . . Bits of wisdom fairly leap off the page.” —Newsday

“Disorienting and reorienting the reader to devastating effect. . . . As suspenseful and harrowing as anything in Conan Doyle.” —Jay McInerney, The New York Times Book Review

“Extraordinarily moving, often blackly funny. . . . It is hard to think of anyone who would not be moved and delighted by this book.” —Financial Times, London

"Both clever and observant." —The Washington Post

“Full of whimsical surprises and tender humor.” —People

“[Haddon] illuminates a core of suffering through the narrowly focused insights of a boy who hasn’t the words to describe emotional pain.” —New York Daily News

"Outstanding. . . . A stunningly good read." —The Independent

“Engrossing . . . flawlessly imagined and deeply affecting.” —Time Out New York

“A remarkable book from a writer with very special talent.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The Curious Incident is the rare book that repays reading twice in quick succession.” —Detroit Free Press

"Heart-in-the-mouth stuff, terrifying and moving. Haddon is to be congratulated for imagining a new kind of hero." —The Daily Telegraph

“This original and affecting novel is a triumph of empathy.” —The New Yorker

“Haddon’s book illuminates the way one mind works so precisely, so humanely, that it reads like both an acutely observed case study and an artful exploration of a different ‘mystery’: the thoughts and feeling we share even with those very different from us.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Mark Haddon’s portrayal of an emotionally disassociated mind is a superb achievement. He is a wise and bleakly funny writer with rare gifts of empathy.” —Ian McEwan, author of Atonement

"A murder mystery, a road atlas, a postmodern canvas of modern sensory overload, a coming-of-age journal and lastly a really affecting look at the grainy inconsistency of parental and romantic love and its failures. . . . In this striking first novel, Mark Haddon is both clever and observant, and the effect is vastly affecting." —The Washington Post

“Haddon’s gentle humor reminds us that facts don’t add up to a life, that we understand ourselves only through metaphor.” —Chicago Tribune

“Beautifully written. . . . Heart-in-the-mouth stuff, terrifying and moving. Haddon is to be congratulated for imagining a new kind of hero, for the humbling instruction this warm and often funny novel offers and for showing that the best lives are lived where difference is cherished.” —The Daily Telegraph

“A detective story with a difference. . . . [Haddon] has given his unlikely hero a convincing voice–and the detective novel an interesting twist.” —The Economist

"Think Huck Finn, The Catcher in the Rye, or the early chapters of David Copperfield." —Houston Chronicle

“A tale full of cheeky surprises and tender humor. . . . A touching evolution.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Funny, sad and totally convincing.” —Time

"More so than precursors like The Sound and the Fury and Flowers for Algernon, The Curious Incident is a radical experiment in empathy." —The Village Voice

“One of the strangest and most convincing characters in recent fiction.” —Slate

“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

“At once funny and achingly sad, this thought-provoking debut may leave us wondering if our worn coping skills are really any better than Christopher’s.” —The News and Observer

“Filled with humor and pain, [The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time] verges on profundity.” —San Jose Mercury News

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time brims with imagination, empathy, and vision–plus it’s a lot of fun to read.” —Myla Goldberg, author of Bee Season

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
6,839 customer ratings
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Top international reviews

Greg
2.0 out of 5 stars Insulting to people like me
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 2, 2018
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oniony
2.0 out of 5 stars Avoid
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Lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
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Anamad
4.0 out of 5 stars A story which will frustrate and fascinate you.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 26, 2018
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MD
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to do with Aspergers syndrome, but OK story.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 1, 2020
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Tristan Sherwin
4.0 out of 5 stars Really, really good to read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 28, 2016
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HP1485
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read - beautifully written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 1, 2017
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Emily D
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 13, 2014
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Teacher teacher!
5.0 out of 5 stars Well observed book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 17, 2017
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MD
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as mind blowing as I was expecting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 27, 2020
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H Father
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 7, 2017
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reg_sinclair
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Cheers for a Writer who Understands Autism
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 14, 2019
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Miss's
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 17, 2020
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Hedgehog
3.0 out of 5 stars I read it after a friend told me this was their only knowledge of someone with Aspergers and that they had loved the book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2015
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Clare Williams
1.0 out of 5 stars Inappropriate and offensive language
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2019
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