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

4.3 out of 5 stars 15,060 ratings

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Popular Highlights in this book

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

Named One of America’s best-loved novels: PBS’s The Great American Read

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

“Moving. . . . Think of The Sound and the Fury crossed with The Catcher in the Ryeand 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 Furyand Flowers for Algernon, The Curious Incidentis 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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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 1400032717
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Vintage Contemporaries; 1st edition (May 18, 2004)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 226 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9781400032716
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1400032716
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 1090L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.14 x 0.67 x 7.92 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 15,060 ratings

About the author

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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.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
15,060 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 23, 2020
11 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 19, 2011
2 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

oniony
2.0 out of 5 stars Avoid
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 9, 2019
44 people found this helpful
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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
25 people found this helpful
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Nuala Bond
5.0 out of 5 stars insightful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 10, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars insightful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 10, 2020
Took me about 24hrs to read this book. It was recommended to me by some mum's of ASD kids a Facebook group I'm on (as I have a, possibly 2 ASD boys) it was also recommend to me by my older ASD boys teacher from 2 years ago (shes my "book guru' lol if I want a new book to read she always has great suggestions) it was hard to get in to at first I with the way Christopher gos off track when writing he's book, once I got use to the way he off tracked I got though the book quickly. The way he describes he's thoughts and feelings, and how he feels around people it reminded me so much if my best friend, he will walk agesnt walls to put himself as far away from people as he can, he trusts me so I can be close to him and although I've always expected that This was part of who he was and not something he could help I never understood this made me realize how hard it could be for him. Christopher also has other behaviours that remind me so much of my boys and it makes me think so much of them. To see what could be going on in there mind I feel as actually helped me to understand them more. Would definitely recommend the book. My daughter has now laid claim to it to read after she's read the book she has on the go at the moment.
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11 people found this helpful
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Lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 14, 2018
32 people found this helpful
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Viola Bleu
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning- couldn’t put it down. In fact I didn’t; I read it in four hours
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 13, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning- couldn’t put it down. In fact I didn’t; I read it in four hours
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 13, 2020
I’ve never read a book in one sitting.
Until today. This morning, I woke up with the threat of a migraine and by 11:30 had to press pause on life; literally, I went back to bed having crawled up the stairs in agony. By 12:30 I was able to read without feeling sick and started this gem.
The only time I stopped reading was when I went down to make a cuppa. I read the final page at around 5:20pm.

During the 268 pages, I laughed and I cried. And often I prayed for dear Christopher to achieve his goals.

It’s like Eleanor Oliphant meets Young Sherlock Holmes and is an absolute stunning study in how a teenager sees the world who has his particular learning difficulty - a label which he, himself, queries in the novel.

I adored Christopher and each of his struggling parents are beautifully portrayed. The dialogue is spot on. And the ‘extras’ highlight the way Christopher’s mind works. I almost felt, when I’d finished, that I’d been privileged to have had a bird’s eye view of a world I know very little about. No wonder this is recommended school reading. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 It’s a huge five stars from me xx
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6 people found this helpful
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