Mark Haddon:

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime

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Fifteen-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone, discovers the slain body of his neighbor’s poodle, Wellington, on the neighbor’s front lawn one evening and decides to uncover the murderer. He has autism which sometimes benefits his investigation (because he is very smart and his mind works in a very mathematical way) and sometimes it limits it. At the scene of the crime he hits a policeman and they take him to custody. They release him with only a strict warning, under the condition that he promises to them not to look into the murder. Christopher starts to write his investigation in a book—the book you are reading. Ignoring warnings from his father, Christopher investigates the crime scene and does interviews with the residents of his block. He discovers a more tangled plot than you expect...

What is autism?

Autism is a complex disorder of brain development. A person with autism has difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Despite their disabilities some people with autism have very good visual skills and are good in music, math and art.

What causes autism?

Most cases of autism appear to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development. They include advanced parental age at time of conception (both mom and dad), maternal illness during pregnancy and certain difficulties during birth, particularly those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain.

  • Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys
  • Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
  • Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism
The World of Autism PSA | Autism Speaks

About the author

Mark Haddon is a British novelist and poet.

He was born on 26 September 1962 in Northampton, England. He was educated at Uppingham School and Merton College, Oxford, where he studied English. In 1987, Haddon wrote his first children’s book, Gilbert’s Gobstopper. This was followed by many other children’s books, which were often self-illustrated. He is also famous for:

  • A series of Agent Z books (one of which, Agent Z and the Penguin from Mars, was made into a 1996 Children's BBC sitcom)
  • A screenplay for the BBC television adaptation of Raymond Briggs's story Fungus the Bogeyman
  • The BBC television drama Coming Down the Mountain

Mark is a vegetarian and enjoys vegetarian cookery. He describes himself as a "hard-line atheist". He lives in Oxford with his wife Sos Eltis, a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, and their two young sons.

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  • Its title quotes the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle's short story "Silver Blaze"
  • It was published in separate editions for adults and children
  • The book uses prime numbers to number the chapters
  • It won many prizes such as the Whitbread Book Awards for Best Novel and Book of the Year, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book, and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize
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The Curious Incident - The play

The National Theatre in the U.K. created a play after the story. It has become very successful in the last year: It is the most award-winning show of the year, honored with 5 Tony Awards including BEST PLAY. Called “one of the most fully immersive shows ever to wallop Broadway” by The New York Times, The Curious Incdient Of The Dog In The Nighttime is a record-breaking theatrical phenomenon.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Official Trailer

My opinion about the book

The book beautifully resembles the life of a person with autism. I like the way it is written because it's really readable and simple. It really highlights how humble Christopher is. I can also relate to him in some situations because his mindset is similar to mine. The peak of the story where Christopher uncovers the letters his mom has been sending really surprised me and dragged me into the story deeper because you get to know his mother, which was presented a bit secretive in the beginning. What also surprised me was the relationship Christopher's father has with him, considering he has autism. I think that sometimes he is a bit too choleric and should explain things to Christopher in a calmer way. He also shouldn't lie to him, considering the concept of lying is hardly understandable to him. Although the relationships in his family are kind of destroyed at the end, I think that the ending is quite happy because you can see how independent Christopher becomes and how his confidence grows leading to the end.
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