Customer Reviews for

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

25 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

Wow!

I knew from the very start i was going to like this book. Haddon, the author, writes this book from the point of view of an autistic child. I personally know people that are autistic and Haddon did a fantastic job of capturing day-to-day life of an autistic child. Wh...
I knew from the very start i was going to like this book. Haddon, the author, writes this book from the point of view of an autistic child. I personally know people that are autistic and Haddon did a fantastic job of capturing day-to-day life of an autistic child. When i started reading the book, i realized that it would not be like any book I have ever read. Like any book it started of with chapter one, however, the next chapter was numbered three. In the beginning of the chapter the boy (who is writing this book) went of on a tangent explaining that the chapters will be prime numbers because prime numbers make him feel calm. I enjoyed it because some books get boring because they have a plot and all you do is read about it. However, every other chapter in this book diverted from the main plot to talk about something random, because this is how the mind of an autistic child works. Throughout the book i found my self almost getting annoyed by the way the boy acted, then i realized this is because the author did such a great job of captivating the real life of an autistic child. This is written by a British man so the language is very harsh. If you want a great book to read, this is it

posted by NRtrack on May 20, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

17 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

Ick.

I'm not going to say I'm the authority on Asperger Syndrome (I have it and read a lot about it, but that still doesn't mean I know EVERYTHING about it), but... ugh. This book gets so much of it completely wrong. It's quite depressing to think that this is now THE go-to ...
I'm not going to say I'm the authority on Asperger Syndrome (I have it and read a lot about it, but that still doesn't mean I know EVERYTHING about it), but... ugh. This book gets so much of it completely wrong. It's quite depressing to think that this is now THE go-to fiction book for those curious (ha!) about the disorder.

Part of my problem is that the writing is immensely frustrating, but, hey, I could get past that if I liked any other major thing about the book. Unfortunately, the protagonist irked me to the point of wanting to throw the book at the nearest wall, and the people around him are even worse, if you want to believe it. Perhaps I should have more empathy for Christopher if he's on the spectrum, but it just didn't happen. He didn't feel real to me most of the time, and when he did, he was a smug little jerk. (The whole thing with him carrying a knife around and contemplating stabbing people if they touched him was the most sickening thing about the book to me; it's, hands down, the most vile "stereotype" in a chock-full of them.) The plot is a mess, too, and very soap-opera like. And the ending? Ridiculous, anticlimactic, and undeserved.

I like some minor things about the book, though. The cover is one. The use of footnotes is the other (I love footnotes, honestly). And hey, even the protagonist being hard (if not impossible) to like is somewhat realistic. (Spend a few hours with a room full of kids on the spectrum and you'll get the idea; a lot of us are really frustrating.) But in terms of portrayal of AS? No, no, no, no, NO. Maybe it's better at getting into the head of a person with "classic" autism, but I wouldn't know much about that. (If they'd said it involved regular autism and not AS, I might not have such a strong dislike for it.) For its time it's not bad at what it sets out to do; unfortunately, many much better books have sprung up in recent years that are much better at getting into the mind of an autistic character. Read this if you must, but I'd heartily recommend reading "Anything But Typical" instead. It's much more well-written, the characters are likable, and it's not filled to the brim with stereotypes.

posted by WeirdMovieFan on February 12, 2010

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wow!

    I knew from the very start i was going to like this book. Haddon, the author, writes this book from the point of view of an autistic child. I personally know people that are autistic and Haddon did a fantastic job of capturing day-to-day life of an autistic child. When i started reading the book, i realized that it would not be like any book I have ever read. Like any book it started of with chapter one, however, the next chapter was numbered three. In the beginning of the chapter the boy (who is writing this book) went of on a tangent explaining that the chapters will be prime numbers because prime numbers make him feel calm. I enjoyed it because some books get boring because they have a plot and all you do is read about it. However, every other chapter in this book diverted from the main plot to talk about something random, because this is how the mind of an autistic child works. Throughout the book i found my self almost getting annoyed by the way the boy acted, then i realized this is because the author did such a great job of captivating the real life of an autistic child. This is written by a British man so the language is very harsh. If you want a great book to read, this is it

    25 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Ick.

    I'm not going to say I'm the authority on Asperger Syndrome (I have it and read a lot about it, but that still doesn't mean I know EVERYTHING about it), but... ugh. This book gets so much of it completely wrong. It's quite depressing to think that this is now THE go-to fiction book for those curious (ha!) about the disorder.

    Part of my problem is that the writing is immensely frustrating, but, hey, I could get past that if I liked any other major thing about the book. Unfortunately, the protagonist irked me to the point of wanting to throw the book at the nearest wall, and the people around him are even worse, if you want to believe it. Perhaps I should have more empathy for Christopher if he's on the spectrum, but it just didn't happen. He didn't feel real to me most of the time, and when he did, he was a smug little jerk. (The whole thing with him carrying a knife around and contemplating stabbing people if they touched him was the most sickening thing about the book to me; it's, hands down, the most vile "stereotype" in a chock-full of them.) The plot is a mess, too, and very soap-opera like. And the ending? Ridiculous, anticlimactic, and undeserved.

    I like some minor things about the book, though. The cover is one. The use of footnotes is the other (I love footnotes, honestly). And hey, even the protagonist being hard (if not impossible) to like is somewhat realistic. (Spend a few hours with a room full of kids on the spectrum and you'll get the idea; a lot of us are really frustrating.) But in terms of portrayal of AS? No, no, no, no, NO. Maybe it's better at getting into the head of a person with "classic" autism, but I wouldn't know much about that. (If they'd said it involved regular autism and not AS, I might not have such a strong dislike for it.) For its time it's not bad at what it sets out to do; unfortunately, many much better books have sprung up in recent years that are much better at getting into the mind of an autistic character. Read this if you must, but I'd heartily recommend reading "Anything But Typical" instead. It's much more well-written, the characters are likable, and it's not filled to the brim with stereotypes.

    17 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2010

    Autistic boy ventures beyond his comfort zone

    Narrated by a 15-year-old autistic boy named Christopher, this novel takes readers anywhere Christopher's mind goes on a journey to figure out who killed his neighbor's poodle, Wellington. In "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night -Time."
    While Christopher is out for a midnight stroll he walks past his neighbor's yard and comes upon their full-size poodle, cold and dead with a garden fork sticking out of its neck. He immediately runs to cradle the dead dog, when the owner, Mrs. Shears, comes out of the house and believes Christopher has killed her dog. She calls the police, and when they try to pull Christopher from the poodle, Christopher lashes out and hits one of the policemen. Not understanding Christopher's autism, nor his fear of being touched, the policeman throws him in jail.
    When Christopher's father comes to get him out, the policeman tells Christopher that he'll have a mark on his permanent record and next time anything happens he'll be in big trouble. This takes Christopher from liking policeman, to having a fear of them.
    Christopher decides to investigate who killed Wellington, and to also write a book about his investigation. While being highly intelligent, especially in math and science, Christopher has no concept of human emotion or social graces. In order to investigate this murder, he must come out of his shell and talk to strangers in the neighborhood who may have witnessed something.
    Christopher's father is very upset when he realizes Christopher is investigating the murder. Christopher's mother died three years ago, and Christopher's father had a relationship with Mrs. Shears (the poodle's owner) which apparently ended badly. His father wants Christopher to stay away from Mrs. Shears.
    One day Christopher's father comes home early and sees Christopher has continued writing his book, despite being told not to. His father takes his book and hides it so he cannot continue writing. Christopher, on a mission, begins searching the house for the book, and what he finds changes his life and everything he's thought he's known the past three years.
    Christopher's story takes us on tangents of every subject he thinks about. He details everything he sees and hears, oftentimes drawing pictures of what he sees or imagines. The chapters are short, and number using prime numbers only, as Christopher uses numbers to gain meaning from daily living.
    We realize that while Christopher is handicapped in certain ways, he excels in others, and mostly that he is a very brave kid who goes on an adventure that most people would find difficult, handicapped or not.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2009

    I'm Happy I Read It.

    I didn't know what to expect when I picked it up in the store, but I'd heard it was good. Only on about page ten, I found it hard to put down. No doubt, looking at life through an autistic boy's eyes was different, yet intriguing at the same time. Christopher Boone speaks his thoughts, and they made me think of life in a way I hadn't before. There were basically two plots in this book: Who killed Wellington, and if his mother's dead, where is he getting these letters from? Nonetheless, a good read that was full of mystery until the very end.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very entertaining

    I have to say, I have Asperger's Syndrome, and it is nothing like how described in the book. However, knowing that Mark Haddon stated he didn't know much about autism, and that it's just a story, I have to say I really like this book. It was touching and you really connect with the characters. Very enjoyable.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    AMAZZZIIING

    Everyone should read it. Sooo good

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Very well written

    This book is a very easy read. It is written from the perspective of a autistic fifteen year old. Although some people say this book was poorly written and did not have a good plot. The story was not a story to tell about how the autistic boy discovered who killed the dog, but rather a story to show what life is like for people with special needs. Having some experience with mentally disabled, I found this book super interesting. It shows that people with disabilities are not stupid. This boy was great at math. I know a guy with down's syndrome who could tell you the day of the week you were born on within five seconds of you telling him the date of your birth. This book was written to have a profound meaning. Instead it was written to show that people with disablities are still people.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    Grabs att of my son

    Ok , I havent read this book, but my son who HATES to read was given this in his senior English class...he comes home everyday excited about the book. So my review is this...if it grabs him....it HAS to ne great!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 8, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Upside Down Dog?

    "I have decided to give my chapters prime numbers 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, and so on because I like prime numbers", is how the young boy starts off this facinating story into a world which one could only wonder what a young autistic person life is really like. Your seeing everything through his eyes(words). The young boy tries to solve a mystery about the neighbors pet dog while finding out some information thats devastating to him. You will not be able to put this book down. The curious incident of the dog in the night-time will definately be a book that you will always love.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    Awful. Patronizing, over-written, pointless, and awful.

    Awful. Patronizing, over-written, pointless, and awful.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2013

    Eccentric, brilliant, simple, easy and unique. A must read for a

    Eccentric, brilliant, simple, easy and unique. A must read for anyone wanting to understand how the autistic mind works. For a teacher like me, handling some kids under this condition, this opened up my eyes on the reality on what’s keeping these special people distinct. Brilliant work.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2011

    Great Perspective- Give it a try!

    ¿The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Night-Time¿ was a different kind of story. Instead of giving endless details and insight into the feelings of the character, the author did just the opposite. Mark Haddon wrote a book through the eyes of Christopher, an autistic boy who has decided to solve the murder of his neighbor¿s dog. While his intentions were only to find a killer, he ends up discovering much more than he bargained for. Christopher¿s life is turned upside down in this logic ridden story of finding the truth even if you weren¿t looking for it. Through his journey, Christopher must try to understand the ever so confusing emotions of people and use his common sense to find the true murderer of the dog Wellington. Though this book wasn¿t my favorite of all time, I did enjoy reading it. At first, I didn¿t really understand the writing style or point of the book. But once I read further I understood the point of view the story was from, and it had a way of giving perspective of what life for kids with autism is really like. I believe that others should definitely read this book if they get the chance. Haddon¿s message that we all see the world differently is very powerful and clear in this story. And to Christopher ¿Lots of things are mysteries. But that doesn¿t mean there isn¿t an answer to them. It¿s just that scientists haven¿t found the answer yet.¿

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2011

    A different kind of adventure...

    Asperger Syndrome and an incident that leads to multiple discoveries, is what this book is about. The main character and narrator is Christopher John Francis Boone and he has Asperger Syndrome and he lives with his dad and his pet rat, Toby. His mom dies when he was young, or so he thought.
    Christopher isn¿t your average kid. He despises anything yellow or brown and loves the color red. For example, if someone gave him corn, he would not eat it, but tomato soup, he would. Christopher also will not eat what is on his plate if the foods are touching each other and he also doesn¿t like people touching him. On the bus to school each morning, Christopher counts cars. Not just any cars though, how many red cars in a row and how many yellow cars in a row. For example, three red cars in a row made it a quite a good day, four would make it a good day, and five would make it a super good day, but if it were four yellow cars in a row, it was a black day. Black days for Christopher would include is not speaking to anyone, sit on his own reading books, don¿t eat lunch, and take no risks. Maths is one thing Christopher is really good at. He takes time out of his stories to talk about interesting subjects that I¿m sure you never knew like knowing all the countries in the world and all their capitals along with knowing every prime number up to 7, 5057.
    Christopher started to write the book because of Wellington, a neighborhood dog. Christopher found Wellington dead one night and wants to find out who did it. In order to find out who killed Wellington, Christopher has to deal with many surprises that come with it. Even if it means learning that he has been lied to for a long time and an adventure to London.
    It¿s a good read and I would suggest it to anyone who is into books where the narrator gets off topic every now and again.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2010

    This is how kids with autism think!

    This author does a great job of getting inside the head of an autistic boy.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

    Love it!

    About fifteen year old autistic boy
    Sometimes harder to comprehend
    Swears quite a bit (say its more for older teens and young adults)
    Realy interesting
    Love this book so much
    But one question,
    Where does it say he has aspergers? Every one is ridiculing the author, did i miss something in the book?
    Anyway, realy good read
    Definetly recomended.
    Peace ; )

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 2, 2011

    Great Book- a MUST read for everyone!!

    Haddon portrays the life and frustrations of an autistic child and their family. You clearly got a good idea of the struggles between a family who was separated and the consequences of a lie. While reading the book, any time I picked it up I felt completely separated from the real world and immersed into the world of the book.

    Now for a little bit about the book. It starts off with an autistic child, Chris, investigating the murder of a neighborhood dog, only it doesn¿t end the same way as you¿d expect. Going through the book, you learn about all the underlying deficiencies in his family and how he thinks about each and every one of them. Getting into Christopher¿s head isn¿t an option with this book-you get into his head whether you want to or not. Christopher¿s father forbids Chris from further investigating the murder after it gets a little too close to some personal matters of his father¿s doing. Chris learned some rather disturbing information about his father and mother by accident and reacted like any rational teen would have. Through his struggles, hard work and very logical thinking you watch Chris¿s amazing progress over the course of only a couple months.

    I recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read and a way to get away from a long day or just the world in general. It¿s a great read for teenagers, adults, men, women, just about anyone. I wouldn¿t recommend it to children because it does cover some topics not quite appropriate for younger ears or eyes. Any adult or teenager will fall absolutely and unconditionally in love with Haddon¿s book. This book is a must read and if you haven¿t read you need to buy it now. I definitely give this book 4 stars.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2011

    Looovveeeee it

    This book is one of my favorites of all time. I got it from a library and one of my biggest regrets is not having had enough money to pay for this. The characters and story were great. I love reading this book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    TERRIBLE

    This is literally the worst book I have read in my entire life. I am trying to figure out why this book was published.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    Great Book!

    I gave "The curious incident of the dog in the night-time" by Mark Haddon four stars out of five stars. I chose four stars because overall it was a great book, this book made me want to turn the pages and read more. I loved trying to find out who killed Mrs. Shears dog, with Christopher the main character. I was very suprised to find out that Christopher's mother has been alive all along. The only reason why I didn't give this book five out of five stars was because I was confused at different parts of the story, that I had to re-read, but other than that this book was really good. I would recommend this book to many different people, but mainly to ages 13 and older. I really hope that there is a sequel to this great book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2010

    Some great thinking parts, illustrations, and comedy. With a somewhat annoying writing style.

    This book's a nice quick read for the experienced. There are a number of instances to read and reread parts to better understand the idea or problem that the main character is talking about. There are plenty of illustrations to help the reader with this. The worst part of this book is that it feels like you are reading a paper by a kid in middle school. However, this does work into the story.

    Bottom Line:
    If you enjoy reading and are looking for a good book to ponder and talk over, buy it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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