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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Timeby Mark Haddon
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Though Christopher insists, 'This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them,' the novel brims with touching, ironic humor. The result is an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice." Publishers Weekly
"This original and affecting novel is a triumph of empathy; whether describing Christopher's favorite dream...or his vision of the universe collapsing in a thunder or stars, the author makes his hero's severely limited world a thrilling place to be." The New Yorker
Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, this dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions. Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions, and cannot stand to be touched. Gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. "I do not always do what I'm told, " he admits. "And this is because when people tell you what to do it is usually confusing and does not make sense. For example, people often say 'be quiet' but they don't tell you how long to be quiet for ..." At fifteen, Christopher's carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor's dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork and 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 Christopher tries to deal with this crisis within his own family, the narrative draws readers into the mysterious workings of Christopher's mind. At once deeply funny and heartbreakingly poignant, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME is one of the freshest debuts in years. Every so often, you come across a book so risky and emotionally resonant that itpermanently alters your understanding of things. THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME is one of those books.
Narrated by a 15-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, this dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions.
Originally published: London: Jonathan Cape, Ltd., 2003.
Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor's dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.
About the Author
Mark Haddon is a writer and illustrator of numerous award-winning children's books and television screenplays. As a young man, Haddon worked with autistic individuals. He teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and at Oxford University. He lives in Oxford, England.
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