Amanda's Reviews > The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
645979
's review
Jun 10, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: 2008
Recommended to Amanda by: Chicks on Lit book club pick for August 2008
Read in September, 2008

Am I autistic? Am I Christopher Boone? What is it about my OCD (self-diagnosed, boo yah!) that separates me from this fifteen-year-old kid? Fate is kind, but there is nothing more disturbing than learning that you possess so many of those qualities that categorize people as "special needs." I mean, shit. Choosing Item A over Item B because you like the color? Yep. Counting incessantly? Yep. Getting lost in London Underground? Yep. Quirky eating habits? Yep. Getting ridiculously sidetracked during storytelling? Yep. Yep, yep, yep. I've got it all. And it wasn't so bothersome at first, but as I read on, I grew to empathize with this kid so much so, that I felt like a fucking crazy person. I'm glad I'm done reading it.

Some items of note:
1. Christopher likes maths. I remember when I used to like maths. Maths are fun!
2. Christopher has a pet rat. I remember when I used to have a pet rat. Pet rats are fun!
3. I wish Siobhan was my girlfriend. Well, sorta. I mean, I don't think I'd be satisfied sexually, but still. She seems like a great gal.
4. I have decided that it is impossible for non-crazy people to ever reach peace and comforting solitude. That's why snatching it bit by bit is necessary.
5. I don't want to give birth.


Thank you, Mr. Haddon, for the quick read. Life is quite complicated, even outside London, huh?
95 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-50 of 53) (53 new)


message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Do you ever do that thing where you're at a stop light and you think to yourself, "If the light doesn't change by the time I count to ten, then I will have a horrible day. If it does change, I will have a merely below average day."

No? Well, never mind then...


message 2: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony The question is, of course...do you cheat, then...and slow down when you get closer to ten...


Meen There are very thin lines (and a whole lot of "bleed over," I imagine) among the various "organizing" neuroses, the autism spectrum, and just general high intelligence, huh? Don't feel bad about it. Revel in it! :) I have always been fascinated by patterns in tile floors. Well, I seek patterns anywhere, but I always seem to have focused time while I'm on the toilet so I spend extra time there just looking at the pattern on the floor. There is comfort in patterns. That reliability and predictability is what I like about maths too! And I loved this book. It was just the most interesting perspective, and how deftly Haddon portrays it!


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

No, RA, you can't cheat because the Other residing in your consciousness with you knows when you're intentionally increasingly your counting increments and will punish you accordingly with a day worse even than horrible!


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, I do that all the time, David. AND I always make a wish when it's 11:11 (am or pm) and then I blow a kiss. And if I don't blow a kiss before 11:12, it won't come true. I can't believe I just admitted that.


message 6: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony Do you ever go two out of three? I go two out of three all the time if the self-bet doesn't go my way.


message 7: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony And Shel, please define your kiss-blowing rules. Does the kiss have to be aimed at someone? Etc.


message 8: by Amanda (last edited Sep 05, 2008 01:04PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amanda Patterns, yep. Ugh, stupid bathroom wallpaper. And the shower curtain. Tile of course, as you said.

I did the floor and countertops in my kitchen, and when I did, I specifically did NOT do a pattern. Otherwise, I'd just look at it over and over and over and would go into this freaky tunnel vision staring at the goddamn patterns. Ugh.

I kiss the clock at 11:11, etc, for good luck.
I don't count at the stoplight, but I have a very specific technique when I drive places--I have to merge into certain lanes at certain times, and if the lights are timed right, I MUST follow the timing perfectly so I don't ever have to stop my car.

I count my applause. And I prefer to clap in multiples of 4. I count other things, too, but mostly applause.


Amanda Whew, thanks for being OCD with me, guys. For realz.
:)


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Sometimes I do it with multiple clocks. I have my computer clock and two cell phones and they all say different times, so I could hit 11:11 on all three!! Whoo-hoo! But I can't be looking for 11:11. It just has to happen to be 11:11. The kiss has to be aimed at the clock, like Amanda said. But I've never actually kissed the clock.

Wow, Amanda, you win. I actually used to be more like this when I was a kid. I would make my bed, leave my room, then stop in the hallway and look back, touch the wall a number of times, and then visually check the bedspread. If it didn't look just right, I would go back and fix it. And then check again, and then fix it again. Man that was time consuming.


message 11: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony I do this thing where I compulsively snap my toes. I don't know how else to describe it.

I also consider leaving action figures (um, my kids') on the floor bad luck. They lose energy if they're on the floor.

Does anyone make little noises with their mouths and throats?


message 12: by Amanda (last edited Sep 05, 2008 12:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amanda Does anyone make little noises with their mouths and throats?
God, I hope not. Let me know if I do, ok?

Like what?



message 13: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony You do! You do!

I sort of hum under my breath sometimes. I don't even notice it. So every now and then in a meeting I'll space out and get paranoid I was doing it. But apparently I didn't. Or everyone is used to it.


message 14: by Meen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meen Like Carl did in Slingblade?


Amanda Like on About a Boy where he sings aloud without noticing. (I love that movie.)


message 16: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony You people are making me think I'm crazy.

Amanda's the crazy one! She started it!


Amanda You're bat shit. I just know it.


message 18: by Meen (last edited Sep 05, 2008 01:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meen When I moved into my apartment back in January, I purposefully did NOT organize my books after unpacking them. They were organized by category and then alphabetized within categories at my old house, but I said NO! I'm gonna try to step out of my comfort zone, and I now have them piled in stacks along the wall completely uncategorized and unalphabetized! WooWoo!

Edit: But gawd, I long for the rush of organizing them again...


Amanda God, what is it about deliberately fucking up your ritual that is just so wonderful? Seriously, are you like, "Take THAT, self!" Sometimes I do that--you know, deliberately don't do the 'organize my books' kind of thing--but then I get so freaking cluttered I have to go back and organize. It's a vicious pendulum effect, designed to keep me nuts-o.


message 20: by Meen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meen Oddly enough, I don't mind clutter. I just LOVE the high of organizing things--not CLEANING, just organizing.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

"Take THAT, self!"

Beware! The self doesn't like when you do that, and the self always gets revenge. Always.

What I hate is when I have to try to keep my mind occupied so that it doesn't make insane high-stakes bets... like "If the mail isn't here yet, you'll die of cancer within a month" or "If there are fewer than four quarters in the junk drawer, you'll never love again."


message 22: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 05, 2008 01:15PM) (new)

P.S. We can all share a room in the nut house. I get the top bunk! I hope that no one minds that when I check the alarm clock, I have to say, "I'm checking the alarm clock" loudly so that I can hear myself loudly enough not to doubt the reality of it.


message 23: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony I think as long as some people get to kiss your clock at certain times you can do whatever you want with it.


message 24: by Meen (last edited Sep 05, 2008 01:20PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meen Ahhh, I have to tell myself outloud that I'm doing things all the time so that when I inevitably ask myself if I really did them I can replay the tape of my voice saying that I was doing it. I don't know why I can remember the sound of my voice more than what I see...


message 25: by Félix (new)

Félix Holy crap. I'm sure glad I'm normal. I mean I would totaly freak out if I had to deal with these kinds of afflictions. Just the thought of it scares the living crap out of me. OMG, I can't stop thinking about it! I wish all I had to be concerned about was the alarm clock being set.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

You're obsessing, Larry. :)


message 27: by Félix (new)

Félix Oh.


message 28: by J (new) - rated it 3 stars

J You people are nuts. It's very comforting.


message 29: by jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

jo great thread, y'all!


message 30: by Félix (new)

Félix But did anybody check the coffee maker? Is it unplugged? I'd better go see. Again.

I always record Monk on the DVR. But I never watch it until I have four episodes recorded. Then I watch all four at once. That's normal, right?

Some would say the episodes are back-to-back. I disagree. They are back-to-front. Right? I mean, if they were back-to-back, one of them would have to play backwards. Am I right?

I don't know.


Amanda Jo, welcome to the insanity...

Larry. You freak asshole! I'm gonna kick you in the balls. Because from now until the end of time, I'm gonna have to correct the goddamn TBS (etc) announcer when he (yes, he, because women NEVER get to do voiceover work) says "back to back episodes." I hate you, Larry.


message 32: by Félix (new)

Félix Ah. That's so nice. :) It feels good to make a difference in someone's life. *sigh*


Holli I'm so OCD Amanda its not funny.....I count everything and most of the time I don't even realize I'm doing it anymore I've been doing it so long. I count stairs when I walk up them, how long I brush my teeth, how many times i brush each side of my hair, people in rooms, etc etc.

I also time everything and base decisions off how long things take such as your stoplight story up there David. I also have to follow a strict getting ready routine in the morning and I can't deviate from it at all.


Amanda We are a bunch of total freaks! I love it!


message 35: by Meen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meen I'm telling you, it's a sign of genius.


message 36: by Félix (new)

Félix OK, a quiz. What book is described here?

"After discovering that the planet Lusitania (who would ever name a planet for a sunk ship) contains a deadly virus, the Starways Congress sends a fleet to destroy it. Before the fleet arrives, Valentine and her family join Ender to help save the planet. The only two known sentient non-human races are on Lusitania: the Hive Queen and the Pequininos. Meanwhile, on the planet Path, a previous experiment created a race of super intelligent humans who are slaved to a variant of OCD. These unfortunates are worshiped as Godspoken."








Books Ring Mah Bell I loved this book, Randy Mandy!



message 38: by Amanda (last edited Sep 09, 2008 09:32AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amanda YAYYYYYYY! It has inspired me to start reading again. So now I'm reading Franny and Zooey.

Did you read his math proof at the end? I couldn't do it. I saw all the x's and shit and gave up before I even started.


message 39: by Gus (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gus Sanchez This is one of the loveliest books I've ever read. It's hard to walk in someone's shoes, no less someone with autism. I loved how Mark Haddon made you sympathize, no, empathize with Christopher, yet his empathy wasn't based on pity or condescension.

Such a compelling story.


message 40: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim I'm sad that I missed this conversation. I'm going to go turn the bathroom faucet on and off 37 times and then walk the 74 steps back to my office


message 41: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa Amanda wrote: "Like on About a Boy where he sings aloud without noticing. (I love that movie.)"

Oh that is an excellent movie! Well, Hugh Grant it in it so that almost goes without saying. I say almost because there was that terrible "Nine Months" and some medical thing. But otherwise...What were we talking about?


Amanda The fact that we're all lunatics.


And probably sex. All threads lead to sex eventually...


message 43: by Taxandria (last edited Oct 04, 2009 02:13PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Taxandria Larry wrote: "OK, a quiz. What book is described here?

"After discovering that the planet Lusitania (who would ever name a planet for a sunk ship) contains a deadly virus, the Starways Congress sends a fleet..."


Isn't that Speaker for the Dead? Oh wait no, it's Xenocide. I remember the girl counting all the lines in the floor.



Carly Svamvour
Amanda . . . you said you were glad you
were 'done reading it' . . . yet you gave it
a 4!

I have to admit wanting things in a particular
order. Unless I'm 'frantic' about something,
then I don't care.

I have this book on my list here too.














message 45: by Liz (new) - rated it 3 stars

Liz Love your review. And can I join the slightly obsessive crew, too? If I'm walking somewhere and a car comes up on the road behind me I have to make it to a certain tree or crack in the footpath before the car passes me.



Nancy Mental illness is the EXCESSIVE of behavior. Anxiety disorders often mimic PDD spectrum. Just thought I'd clarify.

And yet, understanding the differences between anxiety disorders (OCD - uh, me) and Aspergers, reading this book and understanding is reasoning, I am considering starting a new career as The Rain Man.


message 47: by Katy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Katy Regarding the 11:11 thing - I do 12:34, I have to blink whilst looking at the clock (usually but not exclusively on my car) and then good things will happen. It invariably works :D
Oh and Amanda? Being on the autistic spectrum is not the same as having "special needs" Just be careful on that, as someone who's sister has Asperger's I'm quite offended by that!


Samantha I found myself wondering if I was slightly autistic also. But then I remembered that I'm not all that great at math, and I'm a hypochondriac.. :)


Alice Autism does tend to share a lot of features of OCD, but being OCD doesn't mean you have autism. It's a common trait, and they don't know enough about autism to say precisely why.


Sophie Williams Everybody falls on the 'autism spectrum' and specific traits that are associated with autism fall under other categories and vice versa. An interest or skill at math doesn't implicate 'autism'. People who fall higher on the autistic scale tend to have a strong intetest in more or more areas, such as maths. Yet this alone doesn't suggest you fall high on the scale.


« previous 1
back to top