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

2007
05.04

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeChristopher Boone’s life is full of rules. Rule #1: No touching. Rule # 2: No lying. Rule #3: 5 red cars in a row on the way to school=Super Good Day. Rule #4: 4 yellow cars in a row on the way to school=Black Day. Rule #5: Nobody goes to heaven when they die because there is no heaven, only the universe, and so on and so forth. Christopher’s rules make sense to him because he has a mental illness called autism. Because of his illness, he feels very little emotion, and needs strictly enforced routines and patterns to make himself feel safe. When he discovers his neighbor’s dog dead on her lawn in the middle of the night during one of his nighttime rambles, he is frightened (because it doesn’t conform to his rules and routines) but also intrigued (because it seems like the beginnings of a good mystery; who killed the dog? and why?). As Christopher begins to conduct an amateur investigation into the dog’s mysterious death, he uncovers not only who was behind this brutal neighborhood crime, but also some deep and uncomfortable truths about himself and his family. Christopher’s voice is utterly unique, and I have found this original, brilliant book impossible to forget. I think you will, too.

3 Responses to “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon”

  1. Shannon says:

    I found this book on a Most Controversial List. It looks pretty good. I would like to learn more about autism and disease like Asperger’s. Thanks for putting this up here! :-)

  2. Cathie says:

    It’s a wonderful book. But to clarify one point, autism is NOT a mental illness. Autism is a developmental brain disorder.

  3. Jen Hubert says:

    So noted, Cathie. Thanks for the clarification.

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