Laurel'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
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's review
May 26, 2016

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read in December, 2008

Here's what I liked about this book:
1. I found Christopher, with all his many quirks, to be sweet and rather endearing.
2. I thought it was a creative idea to write a book from the point of view of a boy with Asperger syndrome. This is difficult to pull off, but the author does it well.
3. I enjoyed Christopher's musings about life and the way in which he sees it.
4. I love making lists.

Here's what I didn't like about this book:
1. It wasn't really a mystery and I found some of it to be a bit predictable (I guessed who killed Wellington long before it was revealed).
2. The first half is better than the second half.
3. As much as I love making lists (see above), the list thing got the slightest bit annoying after awhile.

Overall, a poignant story about a young, brave autistic boy trying to make sense of and find his place in this very complicated world. Worth the read.
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Reading Progress

02/13 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Laurel (last edited Dec 05, 2008 07:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laurel Hi,Chandra! Nice to meet you, too! Thanks for adding me as a friend.:) Yes, I pretty much am completely limited to audio-books at the moment, unfortunately for health reasons (I'll spare you the dreary details ;)). I think I'd go completely bonkers without them, and am so grateful to have them to get through some of my long days. I have heard a lot of good things about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and look forward to reading (or listening to) it. I also listened to all 3 of those audio-books you mentioned, and really enjoyed them as well. I love a good story that is well read!

Thanks for the comments, and thanks again for adding me as a friend.

Best wishes!

message 2: by Laurel (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:45AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laurel Not sure if you'd enjoy them, but I really liked the audio versions of History of Love, Water for Elephants and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Have a good trip!

message 3: by Laurel (last edited Jan 03, 2009 11:40AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laurel Great points, Chandra! You gave me something to think about, and I think you are right. I bet the author did intend for us to feel uncomfortable in the 2nd half of the book, right along with Christopher. And, apparently, it worked! :) I also found a lot of compassion for the father, despite everything. Thanks for the comments!

Casceil Laurel, your comments echo what I thought about the book when I finished reading it. I'm rethinking it a little now, though. When I complained, in a discussion group, that this wasn't really a mystery, someone else made an interesting comment about how this "detective" compares to other types of detectives, like hard-boiled detectives. Looking at it in that light, I'm coming to think that this book is an interesting variant on the mystery genre. Comparing this "detective" to other types of detectives, like the amateur detectives who keep stumbling across bodies in their small town in cozies, this is an interesting take on the mystery genre.

message 5: by Jan (new) - added it

Jan Waller I think the point is that of course it's not really a mystery, only to Christopher who cannot read the subjective qualities of human life. When he questions his neighbours one tells him "You should really be talking to your father about this" because she is aware of the relationship between Christopher's father and Mrs Shears. He just sees her as someone who cooks and cleans and sometimes stays over, he doesn't read her as having a relationship with his father. He doesn't understand that the relationship has ended, acrimoniously. Christopher tells us he sees everything but really he sees nothing.

Gabby How the heck did you know who killed Wellington?? It was such a big surprise to me when I found out!!

message 7: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark Nice use of the list format in the review, and such a clever comment to end the list.

message 8: by Maddie (new)

Maddie Herbik I completely agree that the fact that the title was about the mystery did end up being weird because of the fact that it was given up fairly easily and therefore the rest of the book seemed oddly placed but I did still like the second half and how he traveled to his mother(I'm assuming you meant when that started.) I do think it was a good thing it was a small book because although he depicted the character well the constant change and graphic did get annoying toward the end. like the other people replying I just can't see how you knew, honesty when I read the book I didn't think it would ever be solved. Now that I think about it I can see how you could maybe tell by his dad constantly telling him to leave it alone. I mostly agree with your review, I would also give it 4 stars!

message 9: by Laurel (last edited Dec 06, 2013 07:46AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laurel Thanks for all the comments! I noted that Chandra deleted her Goodreads account, which makes it look like I was talking to myself at the beginning of this thread. ;)

As for how I knew it was Christopher's father -- it's been a really long time since I read this book, So I don't remember many of the details now. But, I've realized over the years that, in most mystery novels, it's always the person you are supposed to least expect. With that in mind, once I made the assumption it was Christopher's father, it became clear fairly early on that the assumption was correct.

@Jan - I agree the book wasn't really a mystery, but I made reference to it in my review anyway because it was marketed as one (as I recall). You make some very good points!

@Maddie -- I think the 2nd half of the book was perhaps so disjointed and uncomfortable because the author wanted us to get a sense of what it was like to live in Christopher's world. The constant shift of focus, the sense of anxiety, etc. Again, though, it's been a long time since I read this! I honestly don't remember much of it now. I should probably revisit it someday!

message 10: by Laurel (new) - added it

Laurel Hall Well it sounds like a VERY good book!!!
And it sounds like i will really like this book!!!

message 11: by Courtney (new) - added it

Courtney Chinn This by far has been one of the most interesting books I've read. I too, appreciated the way the author wrote this book and Christopher's view of the world around him. He's an interesting character, I have to admit, but I think that's what makes this story unique. He's 15 years old, doesn't like the colors yellow and brown,is afraid of being in large crowds, and doesn't like to be touched, among other things. He also suffers from autism. In the story, it starts off with him discovering that someone killed Wellington, Ms. Shears' dog. It was interesting seeing his thought process with things and how he responded to everyday situations. With the first half of the story starting out as a "mystery" book, and changing to Christopher's quest for the truth, realizing that his father was the one who killed Wellington. He compares love to being truthful to someone. When his mom left him and his father, his father not only told her that his mother had died and etc, because his father was angry with his mom for cheating on him. Christopher never knew all of this and having a high regard for his father, didn't know who to believe. It some ways I can relate to Christopher, and this story almost made me think something was wrong with me. I recommend this book to anyone looking for something interesting and different to read.

Rowan I really did love this book and it made me quite happy upon finishing it, but I also found that it was a little predictable. Not necessarily in the way of knowing the solution to the mystery, but once I knew the premise I had an inkling that it wasn't going to be a typical mystery novel, or if a mystery at all more "the mystery of life." And I knew that it would have uncommon, more analytical views of everyday life situations, since its from the perspective of a boy with Asperger's. Yet the ways these things were written into this book were a delightful surprise for me– I came away from reading this book with a newfound clarity of aspects of life that I didn't even know were confusing to me.

Jason Tolland Hard to find a boy who carries a pocket knife and threatens to stab people as "sweet and endearing", haha.

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