Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Book 31 of 2013: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

I got The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon as a Christmas present many years ago and loved it from the word go. It's one of those books that I added to my bookcase because I planned to reread it, but never actually seemed to get around to it. Until I chose it as one of my Challenge Reads for the HTV Reading Challenge and that finally gave me the motivation I needed to bump it up my To-Read list.

It's the story of a boy who is on the autistic spectrum, told through his eyes, as he writes a book beginning with the mystery of who killed his neighbour's dog. Along the way he explains a little about how he sees the world and also makes some pretty big discoveries about his family.

I thought I remembered this book fairly well, but the more I read, the more I realised that I'd forgotten bits. There was a lot of remembering as I carried on through the book. It was some of the smaller things that had slipped my mind, like the fact that the book's chapters are all Prime numbers, and other little things that Christopher does.

I love the way that it is written. Haddon has done a brilliant job of capturing how the world might appear to someone who struggles to relate to other people. You really feel for Christopher as he struggled to make sense of a world that often doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I actually find I can relate to Christopher in a way; some of the things he says make sense to me.

I don't want to give anything away for anyone who hasn't read the book (if you haven't, go read it now!) but I can't say I'm overly fond of Christopher's dad. On the one hand I think he does a pretty good job at looking after his son and I can understand how he might feel because I imagine it would be a pretty exhausting way of living; but on the other hand, he's kind of a jerk.

I read the book in one day, staying up a little bit later to finish it because I couldn't go to sleep without reminding myself of how it ends. Considering how Christopher struggles with emotion, there's a lot of emotion captured in this book! At one point my heart was in my throat, particularly with Christopher's rat, Toby. I'm glad that I've reread this and I'm going to have to make sure that I don't wait as long for my next reread of it!


  1. This is one of my favourite books. I love how the style is both moving and light- it's not easy to create that style. I read it along time ago but your review reminded me of its brilliance.

    1. I agree with you on the style, it's a very talented writer who can do that.


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