The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is a 2003 novel written by the British author Mark Haddon. It won the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year, and the Commonwealth Writers’’ Prize for best first book. Christopher, fifteen-year-old boy with behavioral problems, lives with his father in Swindon, England.
His mother has been dead for over 2 years. He discovers the dead body of Wellington, the neighbor’s dog, speared by a garden fork, and Christopher decides to write a mystery murder novel about the dog.
One day his father found the book and hide it from him, and when Christopher goes for a search he finds a bunch of letters directed to him from his mother. With the letters he realizes that his mom is not dead and she had left them. His dad confesses that he was the one who had killed the dog, and because of that Christopher left his house with the fear of being killed by his dad, he goes to London to find his mother. After reunited with his mother they return to Swindon, where he takes his A-level exam and get an A grade.
The book ends with Christopher optimistic about his future, having solved the mystery of the murdered dog, gone to London on his own, found his mother, written a book, and achieved an A in his A-level math’s exam. The book takes part in England; only two different cities were visited, London and Swindon. The book starts in Swindon, where Christopher lives with his father, the same places were he finds the dead dog and stars his murder mystery novel.
When Christopher finds out that her mother was living in London and that she was not dead he was very confused: “Mother had never lived in London” (98) that was when he just read the first letter and did not knew what to think. That is why he goes to London. The time of the book is in the end of the 20th century and we are able to know because of the dates inside the letters. However in my opinion the setting is not very important in this book. The main character of the story is Christopher and he is the one telling the story. “My name is Christopher John Francis Boone.
I know all the countries of the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7,057” (2). He is a very interesting character; he has Asperger Syndrome, which is a type of autism. Because of that it is very difficult to find out what he is thinking, however the author is able to interpret it very good. There are many other characters in the story but in my opinion the next most important is his father. He treats Christopher really nice, even though his syndrome. He is a very good father but he sometimes looses his patience and reacts explosively.
In the other hand Christopher’s mother is another important part of the story, but she appears later on in the book. She is a good mother, loving Christopher very much, but she thinks that she is not, that is the reason she fled. The style in the book is very important, because there was a lot of effort in the writing. He interprets the point of view of the autistic boy very precise. “Haddon worked with autistic individuals” (0) making its work with a deep meaning and very accurate to a real autistic boy.
More over the book is written in 1st person from beginning to end: “It was seven minutes after midnight. ” (1) Evidence about it being written in 1st person. The main idea of the book is to create and accurate point of view of the life of a boy with Asperger syndrome. Haddon is able to do it; he was able to do a very deep search into the mind of an autistic boy by studying them and working with them personally. The moral of the story is that people with Asperger syndrome are normal, even though they look different.
They have feelings and they are very smart, the difference is that they have really bad social skills and have problems connecting ideas and a several behavioral problems: “These are some of my behavioral problems A) No talking to people for a long time F) smashing things when I am angry or confused O) hitting other people” (47) Christopher talking about his behavioral problems, it is very curious how he has them very clearly in his mind but keeps doing them. The idea of the book is very important and is well interpreted, creating a clear view of it and the moral.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a very interesting novel, filled with exciting changes in the story and a unexpected end. However I thought it was very slow at the beginning and the middle, making it a little boring in some chapters. Haddon does interpret amazingly the mind of an autistic boy, which in my opinion is one of the best parts of the book. It is very easy to read and that makes it good for bad readers. In an overall view I did like this book and would recommend it to others.