Friday, 8 June 2012

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

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Genre: Mystery/literary fiction
Age Group: Adults
Publisher: Vintage
Year: 2004
First published: 2003
Format: Paperback
Pages: 271
Source: O'Mahony's
Buy It: $6 with free delivery

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. - Book Depository

This book is amazing! I picked it up without reading the back or knowing anything about it because I heard a lot of good things about it. I was kind of disappointing when I did read the back but when I started the book, I knew it was going to be awesome!

Christopher 'wrote' this book and he wanted it to be as he liked so he added many things to this mystery novel to personalize it. The first chapter is '2', the second is, '3', then '5' and then '11'. Notice any pattern? They're all prime numbers. There is also a number of maths formulas and equations which are explained in detail in the appendix.  There's many diagrams and illustrations demonstrating what Christopher is talking about such as the constellation Orion. Christopher is very interested in maths and physics in case you hadn't noticed.

The main point of this book is the characters. At first you think it's about the mystery but it's not, that is simply a minor subplot which serve as as base for the characters. The father, mother and neighbors play a big part in this book as well as Christopher. The various subplots help the characters grow and develop.

There is a couple of themes I picked up on. The first one being right and wrong or morality. Christopher is very set in what he thinks is right and wrong because of his Asperger's. He finds it very hard to trust people so the people he interacts with have to do things 'right' to gain his trust. But everyone has a different idea of what is the moral thing to do so it was interesting to see what Christopher thought.

Another, which is sort of connected to the first, is family. Family is very important to Christopher because it's all he has. He needs to know he can love and trust his father, whom he lives with. Christopher finds it hard to show his love for his father because he can't express emotion well and he doesn't like being touched. But they work around that together.

The writing style is very effective. It is told in a very simplistic way which conveys well how Christopher thinks and how is trail of thought is just mashed together. There is many long paragraphs which are just one sentence but it works and not many authors can pull that off. One thing I did find annoying was that nearly every paragraph started with the word 'And'. It worked to a certain extent but there was times when I found it overused and repetitive.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants an insightful, fun read.


  1. I read this book sometime ago and absolutely loved it.... especially the writing of Christopher.... It made him so real.. :)

  2. I've also heard good things about this book. I may have to pick up a copy. Thanks for the review!

    SIK Book Reviews