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

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor's dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes.

What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

(cover image and summary lifted from Goodreads)

Series: Standalone
Publisher: Vintage Contemporaries
Publication date: May 18, 2004
Source/Format: Bought/Paperback
Purchase links: Amazon Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | National Book Store Fully Booked
My Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts:
First, let me exclaim, “Yay, first blog post!” Maybe later I’ll relate in a separate post why I finally decided to create a book blog, but for now, let me whet your curiosity for this beautiful book.

I’ll begin by explaining how I came knowing about this magnificent piece of work. A few weeks back, I was snooping around my sister’s Instagram feed (because I don’t have my own account), adoring book photos and stuff. One of the pictures that really caught my attention was this book with a cute dog beside it. The next thing I know, I was picking up a copy in our local bookstore.

Bless that cute dog in Instagram, because this book did not disappoint. I am a slow reader but I flipped through the pages and finished my copy in no time. It’s that good.

The book was written in Christopher Boone’s point of view. His peculiar thoughts made Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory flash through my mind many times. For those who are familiar with the show, we all know how funny Sheldon Cooper is. He does not intend to be funny in his ways and yet we find him funny. That’s also how Christopher Boone is for me. I chuckled loads of times while reading, but I also tried to hold back my mirth because I felt that Christopher Boone would not appreciate me laughing at his thoughts. When he was feeling lost and out of control despite his genius, I would love to hug him and tell him it’s gonna be okay but I know that he would not want me to do those. See how confused this book made me feel? I love how this book messed me up.

Aside from confusion, there’s a whole lot more this book stirred up in me: like making me want to read all Sherlock Holmes literature; making me feel inadequate in math; making me understand autism a little; and making me inspired to be courageous. Christopher Boone is by all means a hero in my books for all the times he continued on in his truth-seeking adventure/detective work despite being uncomfortable and scared.

If you are still not convinced to check out this book by now, I will add that I really love the ending. It was not over the top but still heart-warming.

I can’t think of anything that I disliked about the book. Some folks might get intimidated by Christopher’s genius talk but it did not deter my enjoyment at all.

I am so glad that this book is my first review post because it’s a must-read. 

If you happen to have read the book already, I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments section.
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