THE CURIOUS INCIDENT
OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
SHORT SUMMARY (spoiler alert)
The story takes place in the year 1998, in a town called Swindon, England. The protagonist of the story and also our narrator is an autist, Christopher John Francis Boone, discovers a dead body of his neighbor’s poodle Wellington on the neighbor’s front lawn and decides to uncover the murderer. The police takes him into custody after he (in a misunderstanding) hits a policeman. They later release him with only a warning, under the condition that he promises to his father and to them to stop looking for the murderer. While ignoring the warning and interviewing people from his neighborhood in order to find out more about Wellington’s death, he discovers that his father and the owner of the dog, Mrs. Shears, once had an affair. Later he also finds out that this affair started as a result of another affair between Mr. Shears and Christopher’s mother, before she disappeared from Christopher’s life.
At school, Christopher is preparing for an important and very difficult math exam and also working on his own book. One day he accidentally leaves the book opened I the kitchen and as his father sees it, he becomes angry and hides it. While searching for the book, Christopher finds a series of letters hidden in his father’s closet – they were sent to him from his supposedly dead mother. The letters reveal that his mother is not dead, but has just left and continued her life with Mr. Shears. She has been attempting to get in touch with her son ever since, but she's never got any answers. In shock, Christopher faints in the middle of the room before being able to hide the letters which he wasn’t supposed to find. When his father comes home he realises what he has done and breaks down in tears. He apologises for his actions, explaining that he only wanted to protect Christopher from the truth that his mother left the family. He also admits that he was the one who killed the dog and that he did it because of an argument with Mrs. Shears.
Christopher becomes terrified of his father and because he can no longer trust him, decides to sneak out of the house and travel all the way to London to live with his mother. During his journey, he manages to overcome the social fears that he has because of his condition and almost gets hit by a train. When he arrives at his mother’s place, she is completely surprised because she didn’t know Christopher’s father had been withholding all the letters from her. Christopher moves in with his mother and Mr. Shears for a short period of time, but his presence causes his mother to come to a decision to leave Mr. Shears and return to Swindon.
She settles down in a new flat with her son and his father visits them frequently. After Christopher’s rat Toby passes away, his father gives him a puppy. Christopher also manages to pass his math exam with the best possible grade and later decides to take even more A-level exams so he can attend a university outside his hometown. He knows that he can do it because he was smart enough to solve the mystery of Wellington's murder, find his mother, face the issues related to his condition and even write his own book – the book we have just read.
MARK HADDON - short biography
Mark Haddon was born on 26 September 1962 in England. He was educated at Merton College, Oxford, where he studied English.
After he finished college he was employed in several different occupations including working with people with disabilities which later inspired him to make Christopher, the main character of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, an autist.
In 1987, he wrote his first children’s book, Gilbert’s Gobstopper. After that he wrote many more which were sometimes even self-illustrated.
Haddon is also known for his series of Agent Z books and the screenplay for the BBC television adaptation of Raymond Briggs's story Fungus the Bogeyman. In 2007 he wrote the BBC television drama called Coming Down the Mountain.
He has won several important awards so far. The Curious Incident was his first book written intentionally for adult audience - he was in fact very surprised when it was very successful in both adult and child audiences.
10 FACTS ABOUT AUTISM
One of the things that have a great influence on the events in the story is autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder that Christopher has. That's why i have decided to write down some interesting facts about autism.
1. Autism now affects 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys.
2. Autism prevalence figures are growing.
3. Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S
4. Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average.
5. Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases.
6. Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism.
7. There is no medical detection or cure for autism.
9. 1 percent of the population of children in the U.S. ages 3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder.
10. Children who have an autistic sibling or parent are at a higher risk for also having autism.
MY CHOICE OF CAST FOR A HYPOTHETICAL FILM BASED ON THIS BOOK
THE NATIONAL THEATRE'S PRODUCTION OF THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
Two years ago the British theatre, National Theatre, made a very succesful production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on this book.
Here is the official trailer:
MY REACTIONS TO CERTAIN EVENTS IN THE BOOK (with photos of Shia LaBeouf)
Christopher finds out that this affair started as a result of the affair his mother had had with Mr. Shears
It turns out that Christopher's mother is not actually dead
Christopher's father breaks down in tears