The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

81%

51 Critic Reviews

Though Christopher insists, "This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them," the novel brims with touching, ironic humor. The result is an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

   Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
    This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Mark Haddon

See more books from this Author
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 in 2003. It won seventeen literary prizes, including the Whitbread Award. Mark Haddon lives in Oxford. MICHAEL ROSEN was born in 1946 in North London. One of the best-known figures in the children's book world, he is renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. As an author and by selecting other writers' works for anthologies he has been involved with over 140 books. ZADIE SMITH was born in London. Her novels include White Teeth, The Autograph Man and On Beauty. CARMEN CALLIL was born and educated in Melbourne, Australia and came to the UK in 1960. She is the author (with Colm Toibin) of The Modern Library: The 200 Best Novels in English Since 1950. TIM PARKS currently lives in Italy and is the author of novels, non-fiction and essays. BLAKE MORRISON is the author of two bestselling memoirs and is also a poet, critic, journalist and librettist.
 
Published May 18, 2004 by Vintage. 240 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Parenting & Relationships, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Nature & Wildlife, Action & Adventure. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
3
Want to Read
2
Have Read
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Critic reviews for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
All: 51 | Positive: 45 | Negative: 6

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 20 2010

A kind of Holden Caulfield who speaks bravely and winningly from inside the sorrows of autism: wonderful, simple, easy, moving, and likely to be a smash.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Apr 07 2003

Though Christopher insists, "This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them," the novel brims with touching, ironic humor. The result is an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Jay McInerney on Jun 15 2003

Mark Haddon's stark, funny and original first novel, ''The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,'' is presented as a detective story. But it eschews most of the furnishings of high-literary enterprise as well as the conventions of genre, disorienting and reorienting the reader to devastating effect.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by ASHAPOORV on Aug 06 2015

Despite the fact that the book flows in a very mundane manner, it is accessible to both children and adults. It helps a child understand the tough part of relationships and love, while it teaches adults that every child is special and one of a kind.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by BookieCookie on Apr 28 2015

As well as being a great story the book made me realise how people with Asperger's experience the world, so I now have more understanding of them. I would highly recommend this book and give it 10 out of 10.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by HorseLover3000 on Apr 17 2013

Everything in the book is told as it is, with little description to enhance things. I liked this style of writing because it gets straight to the point...It made me think a lot and the way it is written really helps you to understand it. I would rate it a 7/10 for being thought provoking and interesting, but not always exciting or intriguing.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Harriet on Dec 06 2011

I recommend this book for mid to older teens and I give this book a high recommendation; if you want a unique read that is bound to draw on your every emotion and take you on a very different journey to any other novel that you have delved into, then give it a chance.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by The Snork Maiden on Jun 06 2011

This has got to be one of the most fascinating, gripping and unusual stories I have ever read and I think that anyone who has not read it should do, as soon as possible. It gives you a completely different way of looking at the world and that is definitely for the better.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by GrrlScientist on Sep 21 2010

This fascinating and amusing book is a captivating read for a commute or for a longer journey, but don't start reading it before you go to bed because you won't put it down until you've finished it! But even after you've closed this book, Christopher and his engaging story will stay with you far longer than it will take to read the book.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by John Mullan on May 07 2004

The font's discomfiting simplicity is perfectly suited to Haddon's narrator, Christopher, in all his pedantic veracity.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by William Schofield on Jan 29 2004

This book is a good murder mystery story but a better description of how the mind of a different person with some kind of special need looks upon how things work and come about.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Charlotte Moore on May 23 2003

...Haddon's inclusion of diagrams, timetables, maps, even maths problems, extends the normal scope of novel-writing and demonstrates the rich idiosyncrasies of the autistic brain.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by SophieScribe on May 29 2013

Certainly this is a novel I'll be rereading several times in order to enjoy all it has to offer.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by ThePinkElephant on Mar 20 2012

There were parts to this novel...that did drag on a bit, and Christopher's narrative- though funny - can get off topic a bit...

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by The Snork Maiden on Jun 06 2011

This has got to be one of the most fascinating, gripping and unusual stories I have ever read and I think that anyone who has not read it should do, as soon as possible. It gives you a completely different way of looking at the world and that is definitely for the better.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Aubrey Bourgeois on Aug 10 2012

While it may be a murder mystery at its core, this novel is about so much more than the death of a dog; it’s a lesson in empathy.

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Examiner

Good
on Jul 16 2012

Christopher's relationship with his father is a subject greatly touched upon throughout the book, and it is something that keeps the reader glued to each page. But in the end, it's Christopher's sweetness and sincerity, and search for honesty and truth that keeps those pages turning.

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AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Scott Tobias on Jul 08 2003

...Haddon tells the story from the boy's fixed perspective, succeeding so brilliantly that the clarity of his hero's point of view makes the world of ordinary people (with its flaws, inconsistencies, and frequent betrayals) seem out of sorts and dangerously unreliable.

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The Uncustomary Book Review

Above average
Reviewed by Kat Kiddles on Nov 25 2012

It’s excruciatingly hard not to analyze him in the same way I would any other character in a story. Part of me feels guilty, as if I’m touching on something taboo or too sensitive, but with the whole book written from his perspective, I don’t...

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About.com Bestsellers

Excellent
Reviewed by Erin Collazo Miller on Sep 10 2014

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon will appeal to men and women. It is cleverly written and draws readers in to the mind of the narrator, who has a developmental disability.

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Persephone Magazine

Below average
Reviewed by Sara Habein on Nov 07 2012

What made me think that the book was “fine enough” versus “quite good” is that the ending peters out a bit. There’s all this build up with the dog, his relationship with his neighbors, his father, his focus on passing his A-level maths at a young age – what happens feels anti-climatic.

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ABC Perth

Good
Reviewed by Dominiek Neall on Aug 24 2012

Imaginative prose, incredibly delightful characters and an enthralling mystery make for a wonderful tale about one young man's journey to uncover the secrets that surround the death of his neighbour's beloved dog.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by HereComesTheJoker on Apr 30 2014

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is overall an outstanding book, and there are many reasons why someone should read it. The book is extremely realistic, making it easy for readers to relate to and allowing readers to connect with the characters in the story and share their struggles.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by johnnyboy581012 on Mar 01 2014

I cannot connect this type or style of writing with any other book I have read because it is written from such an unusual perspective. The only aspect I did not care for in this book was that the author shared that Christopher did not believe in God. I would have liked to see a deeper spiritual part shown in the novel.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Daniel J on Jan 31 2014

The sub-plots and themes created by Haddon add to the novel's depth, resultantly causing it to carry very big ideas with in a simple, easy to read, cover.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Jan 28 2014

...felt that the swearing in the book was a bit offensive, distracting and unnecessary...There are enough surprises in this book to keep the reader turning pages.

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Teen Ink

Good
on Jan 28 2014

I would highly recommend this novel to individuals who enjoy a fresh view on life and enjoy a good read. It is very easy to sit down and read this book till the end in one sitting, so when you do start reading, make sure you have a lot of spare time.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Footballfreek36 on Jan 28 2014

Already highly recommended by many different critics in Britain and America, I say that if you're looking for a good read; pick up The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon today!

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Teen Ink

Below average
Reviewed by cverdelogden on Jan 28 2014

Over all I believe The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a mediocre book. I don’t believe I would recommend it to any of my friends or family...

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by yunsung1234 on Jan 28 2014

I really liked the plot of the novel, and how Christopher’s first person perspective leads the narrative. Almost every event grabbed my attention, and as I kept reading, I wanted to know what would happen next.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by BlakeM on Jan 28 2014

Overall, the story that covers a young, special, boy’s life problems, a father that lies consistently and a mother who disappeared when he was little, and shows the reader the inner workings of him and the way his brain works. This book will surely be an interest to all, and keep you reading until the very last page.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by brian_brown on Jan 28 2014

The book is quite well written. Haddon does a very good job of convincing us of Christopher's disability and ultimately his narrator status. There's a lot of voice throughout, but it can get a little frustrating at times.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Good
Reviewed by Sarah Dudley on Sep 01 2003

...this book is poignant, powerful, captivating and enjoyable. In addition, it is humorous, heart wrenching, painful and unforgettable.

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Lesa's Book Critiques

Above average
Reviewed by Lesa on Jul 09 2013

This book didn't work for me as a mystery, although some have called it that. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time really only works as a window into one young man's world. It's fascinating as a view of an autistic young man's life. At the same time, it's a claustrophobic book, one that I found difficult to get through.

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Novelicious

Excellent
Reviewed by Amanda Keats on Oct 15 2013

I truly believe that a book like The Curious Incident should be compulsory reading for everyone on the planet. It is eye-opening and breaks down the barriers between autistic people and the rest of the world. It just so happens to also be a beautifully written and enjoyable story.

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Jules' Book Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Jules on Jan 05 2013

...there were some interesting plot twists and surprises along the way, including the ending, which was just as good as the rest of the book.

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The Blue Bookcase

Below average
Reviewed by Rachel on Apr 07 2011

The last half (dealing with the solution to the mystery) wasn’t as fun to read. It just made me kind of annoyed. Haddon’s autistic narration style gets old after a while.

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Raging Biblioholism

Good
on Sep 26 2012

In the end, the book feels a little slight and a little tonally out-of-balance. But Christopher is a terrifically imagined narrator and the book is worth reading simply for the window it opens onto the world of autism.

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Literate Housewife

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer on Feb 10 2007

This book is funny, realistic, and thoroughly enjoyable. I did read quickly through the math equations he worked on to calm himself down in uncomfortable situations. Still, it was interesting that there are people for whom working out such problems makes them feel better.

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Lit Lovers

Good
Reviewed by Molly Lundquist on Apr 01 2007

Clubs say this book generates excellent discussions of autism. I think it also can generate some very interesting discussions about the behavior of so-called normal folk.

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The Lit B***h

Excellent
on Dec 04 2010

This book is absolutely worth reading. It is touching and a comical and an inspiring adventure that anyone who considers themselves ‘well read’ cannot do without reading.

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Rated Reads

Above average
Reviewed by Corryn Brown on Jan 15 2014

...if you are not offended by strong language or are comfortable skipping over the pages with strong language, you’ll find The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time a creative and entertaining read.

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Confessions of a Bibliophile

Good
on Sep 28 2008

I often worry that these books with a lot of buzz won’t live up to the hype by the time I get around to reading them. In this case, I shouldn’t have worried.

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Above average
on Nov 21 2014

Whatever you think, I expect you will think a lot about this book, and about Christopher in particular. Because it isn't really a story about a curious incident of a dog in the night-time so much as a story about Christopher, and how he solved the mystery...

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Musings of a Literary Dilettante's Blog

Good
Reviewed by musingsofaliterarydilettante on Nov 25 2010

...uses a plethora of pictures and puzzles that Christopher uses to explain things or explain how he understands the world. Haddon creates some difficulties for himself in creating this character, but uses the straight-jacket to his advantage.

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Reading Matters

Excellent
Reviewed by kimbofo on Apr 18 2004

I loved this story and read it in two sittings. It's original, witty and illuminating. No matter what your age, you'd be hard pressed to find a more interesting and page-turning novel.

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A Good Stopping Point

Above average
on Nov 07 2010

As much as I appreciated these aspects of the book, what truly sucked me in was the relationship between Christopher and his father.

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scott william foley

Good
on Aug 29 2008

...I would recommend that you read this novel. It is a captivating study in character and style, and also quite informative.

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Reading Rants

Good
on May 04 2007

Christopher’s voice is utterly unique, and I have found this original, brilliant book impossible to forget. I think you will, too.

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Reviews of Books

Good
Reviewed by W. R. Greer on Jan 28 2014

When this book was initially released, it received rave reviews. After it had won awards and stayed one of the most popular books on this site, I decided I had finally had to read it. I shouldn't have waited so long. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time should be on everyone's reading list.

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Monniblog

Good
Reviewed by Monica on Jul 16 2010

It was really enlightening for me to read, as I think others have found too. I can certainly see why Mark Haddon received so much praise for the book.

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Reader Rating for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
81%

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Barton Yahwoo 24 Jun 2013

Terrible. 'Twist' ending is obvious, narrative drags and is both insensitive and patronizing, and all in all the book just feels pointless and callously written as Oprah's Book Club fodder.

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