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

June 24, 2011
By , Millbrae, CA
Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time follows 15 year old Christopher Boone’s journey in investigating the murder of his neighbor’s poodle (against his father’s demands). Christopher’s comfort with rules, order, and logic attracts him to solving the murder mystery, but as the novel progresses, Christopher finds out that his life is more complex, chaotic, and illogical than he thought it was. However, the novel is more interesting than just its plot; the main character’s interesting way of perceiving the world is what really makes this worth reading.

Christopher’s character may seem strange (for example, he is socially clueless, refuses to touch yellow or brown objects, and screams whenever someone touches him), but by reading the novel from his point of view, his behavior becomes easier to understand and readers can realize that he has typical teenage characteristics and struggles. Another interesting aspect of Christopher’s character is his gift for mathematics and science. He often digresses into mathematical and scientific ideas that can actually end up being relevant to the plot.

Readers’ reactions to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time have been diverse. Some believe that Christopher is autistic while others do not, some hate Christopher’s father while others are sympathetic towards him, some find the book funny while others find it sad, and some are optimistic about Christopher’s future while others do not believe that he will achieve his goals. Christopher does not persuade readers into feeling a certain way about his story; readers can decide for themselves.

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