The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Book - 2002
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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. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher's carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor's dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing. Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents' marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher's mind
Publisher: [Toronto, Ont.] : Doubleday Canada, c2002
ISBN: 9780385659802
Branch Call Number: FICTION HAD
Characteristics: 226 p. : ill. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Staff picks


From Library Staff

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 05, 2015

Christopher, a mathematically gifted fifteen-year-old autistic boy, decides to write an account of his investigation into the murder of his neighbour’s dog for his own satisfaction and to present to his teacher. In the process, he has to conquer his fear of interacting with strangers and even und... Read More »

From the critics

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Mar 14, 2021

Insight into the matrix of autism and emotionally affecting. The novel begins fairly simply and increases in complexity as the story unfolds.

Mar 08, 2021

I would have given this book more stars for Christopher's narrative and behavior except for the secret of the perpetrator of the "curious incident of the dog". Anyone who could murder a dog in this way would / should never be deserving of trust. The discovery of the killer murdered Christopher's trust and mine. I found it too disturbing to "enjoy" the rest of the book. Cannot recommend, especially for young people. Kristi & Abby Tabby #metoo - I know what the murder of trust means.

Feb 17, 2021

I read this book to fulfill the goal read a book by an author who shares your zodiac sign. (libra) This book was written by an autistic child. It really resonated with me as both my children suffer from this affliction. I too have autistic symptoms although i have not been formally diagnosed. I could see how this could easily happen. it both scared me and made me sad. It was easy for me to read, and parts of it made me laugh. It is also on the list of 300 books everyone should read once featured on listopia. i think it belongs there.

Oct 14, 2020

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, written by Mark Haddon, follows the mystery of Christopher John Francis Boone. One night, Christopher Boone runs into his neighbors’ dead dog on the ground, impaled with a pitchfork. Christopher, who is on the spectrum, feels obligated to solve the mystery and find the culprit who committed this crime. In the process, he figures out more about himself and the world around him, meeting new people, seeing new sights, and getting out of his comfort zone. Personally, this is my favorite book. Christopher is so loveable, and the book is so enticing. I suggest this book to an age group of 11 and up because it a heavier read and he refers to higher math.

Oct 03, 2020

Christopher knows a lot of things: every prime number up to 7,057, every world capital, that he detests the colour yellow. What he doesn't understand includes human emotion and why anyone would want to kill his neighbour's dog, Wellington. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time recounts Christopher's efforts to solve the murder of Wellington, but as he digs deeper into the mystery he finds his own life unravelling too.

At first, I was a little bit hesitant. Since the novel is written in first-person from the point of view of someone who is not neurotypical, I was worried that the novel would be full of gross over-generalizations about people with Asperger's Syndrome. I'm not an expert, and I won't pretend to be, but in the end I do feel that Haddon has presented the reader with a fully realized character who, while deeply affected by his condition, is not defined by it. I felt that Christopher is a relatable character to any reader.

Additionally, I love the complexity of relationships that Haddon portrays. Christopher's father at first appears patient and ever-sacrificing but we soon learn that there is frustration and anger behind the façade as years of being a single dad take their toll.

I loved being along for the ride of solving the murder and learning about Christopher's life along with him. My heart ached for the boy as he tried to find his new place in the world, and I found myself rooting for him despite going in to the reading with a pessimistic outlook.

I believe that this is a book that will stick with me for years and I am glad I finally took the time to read it.

Aug 29, 2020

Here is a list of some things I want to tell you about this book:

2. You and I both know the book’s title is long. The best part about it is watching people’s faces quirk in confusion when you say it because it is so long.
3. This is not really a mystery novel. The biggest mystery you’ll be focusing on is the unfamiliar way Christopher’s mind works.
5. All of the chapters are in prime numbers.
7. Christopher often likes to share his favorite concepts and facts, and he does this with diagrams and drawings. They’re super fun.
11. Christopher’s relationship/interactions with his parents is one of the best aspects of the story. It even made me feel things.
13. I appreciated the book’s dry humor; it made me laugh out loud at times.
17. Overall, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is an enjoyable story. Read it.

Jul 02, 2020

This was something a little new for me, and I really appreciate it. It feels great to be represented in literature, especially if it’s well-done, and in the form of a protagonist. But this book doesn’t care about the specifics of autism, or what people think about it. I don’t think it even specifically states that Christopher is autistic. giving us a fairly accurate description of how Autistic people experience the world around them, even if it’s only on the inside for some of them. I found it easy to relate to Christopher, and laugh, cry, and have my senses overloaded with him. However, if you are not autistic, or don’t know much about it, I would highly recommend doing research on it beforehand. It will make things much clearer. However, the book does take some turns that will surprise even autistic people, even if they understand them in hindsight. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go out, buy this book, and keep it forever. I give it a ten out of ten, obviously. - @R2-D2 of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board.

The book “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is about an autistic teenager named Christopher attempting to solve the mystery of his neighbour’s killed poodle and writing a novel based on it. The plot wasn’t as intense as other detective novels but I believe the meaning of the book and the unique writing perspective is what makes the book truly amazing. The author is incredible at describing and throughout the entire book you’ll see the world from Christopher’s eyes. During his adventure you’ll feel his bravery and sense what he is capable of doing, watching Christopher overcome his disability, sensitivities, and fears are very encouraging. In the book the author did not mention Christopher's autism, only for the readers to see him as a normal person but different, helping us observe the goods of those who are troubled by disabilities and accept them. The book also contains components of honesty and trust within a family that I thought was very interesting. The book was heartened by showing a process of growth of a disabled individual and I would rate this book a ⅘ star, strongly recommending it to those seeking to read a sincere book.@Mr.WuKong of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Jun 04, 2020

Loved it!

Mar 28, 2020

The voice of this story, an autistic 15 year-old boy, make it a fascinating read and a very human novel.

Jan 13, 2020

Read for book club. I enjoyed it, mostly, because it was interesting and entertaining. Also very informative for how a person with autism's brain might work.

But too much swearing, and his parents were so awful and yet the author wrapped it all up like everything was fine at the end.

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Age Suitability

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Oct 03, 2020

plattsla thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 28, 2020

kaitoryn thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Nov 24, 2019

brown_hyena_23 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Dec 18, 2018

RaptorMouse thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jul 26, 2018

sands7447 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Feb 10, 2017

bjaysvict thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 70

red_alligator_11154 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jun 12, 2014

ArvinMadhi thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

taupe_ape_23 Aug 23, 2013

taupe_ape_23 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

anythingfantasygoes Aug 14, 2013

anythingfantasygoes thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Add a Quote
Aug 28, 2020

“Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”

Laura_X Aug 03, 2018

On the fifth day, which was a Sunday, it rained very hard. I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.

May 24, 2018

'...But sometimes we get sad about things and we don't like to tell other people that we are sad about them. We like to keep it a secret. Or sometimes we are sad but we don't really know we are sad. So we say we aren't sad. But really we are.'

May 17, 2016

But in life you have to take lots of decisions and if you don't take decisions you would never do anything because you would spend all your time choosing between things you could do. So it is good to have a reason why you hate some things and you like others.

May 17, 2016

'...But sometimes we get sad about things and we don't like to tell other people that we are sad about them. We like to keep it a secret. Or sometimes we are sad but we don't really know we are sad. So we say we aren't sad. But really we are.'

May 17, 2016

And this shows that sometimes people want to be stupid and they do not want to know the truth.
And it shows that something called Occam's razor is true. And Occam's razor is not a razor that men shave with but a Law, and it says
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praetor necessitate.
Which is Latin and it means
No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary.

May 17, 2016

And when the universe has finished exploding, all the stars will slow down, like a ball that has been thrown into the air, and they will come to a halt and they will all begin to fall toward the center of the universe again. And then there will be nothing to stop us from seeing all the stars in the world because they will all be moving toward us, gradually faster and faster, and we will know that the world is going to end soon because when we look up into the sky at night there will be no darkness, just the blazing light of billions and billions of stars, all falling.


Add a Summary
Jun 23, 2016

Christopher was the protagonist character in the story. One day he saw a neighbor dog killed with a garden fork or rank. However he was wondering who might have been killed that dog. He took a responsibility,or he became a detective. He asked several neighbors if they had seen anyone who was killing Mrs. Shears's dog. Everyone refused and they told him they didn't see anything. One day one neighbor told him about his father. Christopher also used a secret book to write what happen or he was seeing by not showing his father. However, since the father had told him his mom had died due to heart attack, Christopher assumed his mother is dead already. He thought he has no mother anymore. One day Christopher's father found out that Christopher was detecting about the dead dog. Then he command Christopher not to go any neighbors house because Christopher's father was the murderer of the dog. He warned Christopher not even to take another step. He also founds Christopher's secret book and he hide it. His mom was still alive instead she lives in a different place, London. Christopher's mother had written a letter for several times. By contrast, Mr. Shears kept hiding the letter because he told Christopher already that his mom died because she had a heart attack. All in all Christopher's father told Christopher that he killed the neighbor's dog because Mrs. Shears doesn't wanted to live with him and the purpose was to piss her off. And he forgive Christopher for his brainwashing thoughts. Moreover, Christopher decided not to live with his father because he thought his father might kill him as well just like the dog. So Christopher move to London to find his mother and he brings her back to his father's house.

blue_butterfly_2610 Aug 31, 2013

Christopher John Francis Boone is a strange boy. One who does not like being yelled at or even touch. He knows all the countries in the world and every prime number up to 7,057. He detests the color yellow and brown. In this book Christopher not only solves the mystery of the killing of Wellington he writes a book about it. At the end he finds himself finding his so called dead mother.

SaanichLori Apr 26, 2011

A 15 year old autistic boy finds his neighbour's poodle dead with a garden fork through its body. At first he is accused of the murder, but after he is cleared, he decides to find out who the killer is.

Interesting note: the chapters are not sequential number, but rather prime numbers.


Add Notices
anythingfantasygoes Aug 14, 2013

Coarse Language: This book has quite an amount of curse words in it, which is to be expected, sine it is in the young adult section.

Aug 08, 2011

Coarse Language: this book has some coarse languages throughout the story

Feb 10, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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