Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book Review: "The Curious Incident Of the Dog In The Night-Time"

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a different book. The narrator, Christopher, is a fifteen year old special needs kid who is a math whiz, but who has a lot of difficulty understanding other people, and dealing with them. When he discovers his neighbor's standard poodle dead in the yard, he decides that he will do detective work and discover who the killer was.

I knew this book would be offbeat--and that I would probably love it--when it started off with chapter 2. The book turns out to be one that Christopher is writing about his investigation, and he numbers his chapters with all prime numbers. His narrative wobbles from trying to find out who killed Wellington the dog, to all sorts of random subjects such as life in outer space, or lists of things that interest him. Sometimes his skewed observations are weirdly on target, seeing everything as he does from a very unusual perspective.

Christopher is hampered a great deal by his inability to filter out unnecessary information. If he sees cows in a field, he knows how many there were, what colors they were, and can recreate the spot pattern on a particular cow by drawing it. Unfortunately, this overload of information often causes Christopher to become overwhelmed, and then he can barely cope.

One thing I should probably mention is that to my American mind, the Britspeak was hard to follow sometimes. Yards are gardens, cookies are biscuits, tea is a meal, and so forth.

It's a quick read, and certainly a unique and entertaining one. For a novel about a boy who doesn't really understand humanity very well, this book has a great deal of it. Recommended.

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Sioux said...

Shay--I've seen this book around (for years?) and hesitated. I guess I should read it?

Fireblossom said...

Sioux--it came out in 2003. Recently, I have been addicted to the book lists at and this book kept turning up, so I bought it to read. I liked it.

Sioux said...

Shay--WTF did you let me know about

That site is a hoot. Thankfully, I did better on the book list than I did "Eat These Desserts Before You Die" list.

Lolamouse said...

I read this book when it came out and loved it! I keep thinking of it lately because there's a kid in my neighborhood who reminds me of the main character.

hedgewitch said...

This sounds really intriguing Shay--I'm putting it on my list. If you can get through the Brit part with only a minor grumble, then I know it has to be good. ;_)

Mama Zen said...

This sounds marvelous!

Lynn said...

This is the very first book I read when I joined a book club 10 years or so ago. It is a wonderful read and was eye opening. said...

I listened to this book over the summer and found it exquisite!

We both have very good taste!! xx

grapeling said...

also have this book laying about. one of these days... ~