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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time | [Mark Haddon]

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism. He doesn't like to be touched or meet new people, he cannot make small talk, and he hates the colors brown and yellow. He is a math whiz with a very logical brain who loves solving puzzles that have definite answers.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: In this fascinating look into a unique mind, Jeff Woodman becomes Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome. Never before have I felt so much like I was experiencing the world from someone else's perspective. Christopher's frustrations, social anxieties, and logic felt like my own in this powerful performance. —Diana Dapito

Publisher's Summary

Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism. He doesn't like to be touched or meet new people, he cannot make small talk, and he hates the colors brown and yellow. He is a math whiz with a very logical brain who loves solving puzzles that have definite answers.

One night, he observes that the neighbor's dog has been killed, since it is not moving and has a large garden fork stuck in its body. Christopher knows this is wrong. He has never left his street on his own before, but now he'll have to in order to find out who killed the dog. What he discovers will shake the very foundation of his perfectly ordered life.

Critically acclaimed author Mark Haddon, a two-time BAFTA winner, crafts a stunning masterpiece that is funny, honest, and incredibly moving.

©2003 Mark Haddon; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

  • Alex Award Winner, 2004

"The novel brims with touching, ironic humor. The result is an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fresh and inventive." (Booklist)
"Smart, honest and wrenching....Will quickly hook you in." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Gloriously eccentric and wonderfully intelligent." (The Boston Globe)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (3860 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Craig Raleigh, NC, USA 04-19-05
    Craig Raleigh, NC, USA 04-19-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
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    8
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    "Not"

    A previous reviewer compared this title to Life of Pi. I was particularly disappointed with the ultimate storyline of that book and felt exploited by the author. That, however, is not the case with this book. It is a fascinating eye into the mind of someone who doesn't think like the rest of us. I always enjoy readings that challenge our world views and this does so while also showing how that difference has an impact on those around us. In this case, a not-too-atypical family trying their best to negotiate life. It's about so much more than "the curious incident." You'll enjoy!

    23 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Madison, WI, United States 09-16-05
    Amazon Customer Madison, WI, United States 09-16-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love doesn't have to be reciprocal."

    You will love this story and it will linger in your mind. The story is told through the eyes of and from within the mind of a 15 year-old boy with Asperger's Syndrome, related to or a type of autism characterized by normal intelligence, a facility with language, but difficulties with managing interpersonal relations and social interactions, including difficulty reading facial expressions. They do connect with people, but in a round-about way, as you will see in this story. These children can grow up to excel in a chosen field of learning and this boy is presented as a mathematics and physics savant. Some of his insights in the world of physics are fascinating and truly enlightening. If you love discovering new facts and figuring things out this book offers a few really fascinating discoveries, especially the boy?s explanation of why the night sky is so dark when it contains a billion billion stars. The boy lacks an ability to connect emotionally with others but you will find yourself developing an emotional connection with him, as his parents, his teacher and one of his neighbors do. Love does not always have to be reciprocal. You will love this book, the narrator, and the boy, and even the murdered dog.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 10-19-13
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 10-19-13 Member Since 2012

    Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3914
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    162
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    Story
    "Metaphors are Lies"

    Audible has its way of pulling you into unexpected stories. One day, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" (2003) popped up for the price of a latte. I think it's meant to be 'Young Adult', a genre I don't usually read - but it had awesome reviews. I skipped Starbucks, had black coffee at the office, and bought the book.

    I'm a huge fan of Temple Grandin, the autistic author of, most recently, "The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum" (2013). Dr. Grandin thinks differently than neuro-typical people and does a great job at describing that. So does Mark Haddon in "The Curious Incident".

    Christopher Boone, a brilliant mathematician hates the colors yellow and brown, and is in a 'special school' to help him lean, among other things, to understand what the expressions on people's faces mean. The book starts with Chapter 2 (on purpose, it's not an editing problem - and there's a good reason for it), when Christopher discovers Wellington, his neighbors' poodle, pitch forked to death.

    Christopher is determined to solve the mystery, just like his one fictional hero, Sherlock Holmes. Christopher does, with the directness of someone with 'no filters', as well as the physical and mental pain 'no filters' for audio, visual and tactile senses causes. He is tenacious and brave - and while he doesn't say it, autistic. Like the best fiction, Haddon draws us into someone we aren't.

    I know that this is Assigned Reading in a lot of English classes, and there are Themes and Meanings that are to be gleaned. I don't think Haddon meant to write an Important Book, I think he was writing a nifty story that turned out to have lessons. Enjoy the mystery first, and then worry about the message. The book quotes well - the title of this review is one.

    The narration was good - I get a kick out of Jeff Woodman's English accent.

    The book was worth a week of lattes. Or two. Or a month.

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

    35 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Williams Clarksville, TN, United States 12-07-12
    Amy Williams Clarksville, TN, United States 12-07-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    7
    3
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    "I funny glimpse into the mind of an Aspie"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I'd recommend this book for anyone who enjoys Aspies or wants to learn more about high functioning autism. Now I realize that the author of this book has gone on record as saying that he didn't mean to outline any one specific disorder, yet this is analogous with how the directors of the tv show 'Big Bang Theory' claim that Sheldon wasn't written to be on the autism spectrum either. Uh, whatever -- this is textbook Asperger's Syndrome. In this book, the main character is a 15-year-old boy who has high functioning autism. He decides to write a book about his life story and a mystery he's trying to solve. Some parts are funny, others are sad, and then in the first chapter you might even feel a little disgusted. It's not so much that the events of the story are overly entertaining but it's the way the character interprets them and negotiates his confusing world that makes this story so interesting. I loved it!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time?

    I loved the scene when Christopher was snuggled up behind a huge piece of luggage on a shelf while riding the train because this is where he felt the safest and another passenger, who sounded a lot like Dudley Moore (the drunk version from the movie 'Arthur'), finds him hiding there. I laughed out loud at that part. Really, you have to listen to the book to know what made it so funny. I'm betting you'll chuckle too.


    Which character – as performed by Jeff Woodman – was your favorite?

    I loved the father, Ed, most of all. I was really able to empathize with some of his struggles and frustrations, as well as the undeniable, unbreakable love he had for his son, even though all of this was relayed from the angle of his Aspie son.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed quite a few times and felt a little shocked at others. There was one scene in the train station where I felt really nervous for Christopher and I can honestly say that I had no idea what was going to happen next. As you're listening to the story, you tell yourself, "Naw, this is the main character ... he's going to be okay", yet Chapter 1 clarifies that some pretty shocking things can happen in this book so anything really goes.


    Any additional comments?

    There is profanity in this book so it's not one you want playing in the car when you have little ears in the back seat. However, the reader does a phenomenal job retelling this story and I learned a lot of British humor too. I will be checking out other books by this author and reader.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abbie Richardson, TX, United States 05-23-12
    Abbie Richardson, TX, United States 05-23-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lovely"

    The reading and the writing of this audiobook are perfectly suited for each other and absolutely delightful, clever and innocent at once. It's like having a conversation with a fresh, clear-eyed, uniquely shaped mind so engaging you don't notice you're not saying anything.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Spring Field, TN, USA 08-03-05
    Chris Spring Field, TN, USA 08-03-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    14
    14
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    "Good, relaxing listen."

    I listened to this title after finishing Chernow's Hamilton biography and found it to be just what I was looking for. The story narrated Christopher, an autistic mathematic savant, though ostensibly a detective story, becomes a journey about the meaning of love and understanding between people with great differences. Though some of the characters are a bit shallow (Christopher's mother, for instance), you come to care enough about Christopher that you barely notice.

    The reader has also done a nice job. Though it takes a lot from a reader to provide a reason for listening to a novel, this production certainly does not hinder the enjoyment of the narrative.

    One note of caution. The novel includes several graphics, charts, and diagrams (and a mathematical proof) that the audio book, obviously, does not. It is a good idea to stop by a book store and peruse the book so that you don't miss anything.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C santa rosa, CA, USA 10-26-04
    C santa rosa, CA, USA 10-26-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Riveting"

    As an English teacher, I'm a fussy listener. This book and this wonderful reading is as good as it gets. The protagonist's purity will make you laugh, and touch you at the same time. You can't see where the plot will wind up. This one will make you want to sit in the driveway. A perfect book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate M chicago, IL, USA 07-22-04
    Kate M chicago, IL, USA 07-22-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    1
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    "Strange but utterly charming"

    I was captivated by the first sentence and remained so throughout the book. Rarely have I felt so strongly that I was seeing the world through another's eyes. The author did a stunning job of prensenting the main character's point of view in a way that was simultaneously sympathetic, amusing and heartbreaking. The reader is absolutely amazing (also read Life of Pi)which made the narration that much more personal. This is one of my favorites so far and I am recommending it to everyone I know.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina-Audible USA 12-26-13
    Regina-Audible USA 12-26-13 Member Since 2008

    Audible editor and data evangelist. Lover of fiction, classics, celebrity memoirs, and quirky teen novels.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
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    205
    18
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    5
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    "Perfect for All Ages"

    This eccentric 'whodunit' mystery unravels through the eyes of a 15-year-old boy with Asperger's Syndrome, Christopher Boone. His everyday struggles are masterfully captured through the voice of Jeff Woodman, who takes you on a lighthearted and honest journey with the most unique perspective. This is one of my go-to Audible recommendations for listeners of all ages.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Longview, TX, United States 11-10-13
    Linda Longview, TX, United States 11-10-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    89
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    333
    38
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    6
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    Story
    "Well done - not overdone"

    This book does an excellent job of telling a story of a young man with severe disability. The book clearly separates the difficulties of this young man's alternate perceptions of reality and mental retardation.

    The workings of the human mind are complex and those of us whose minds process the world and perceive in the "normal" as in statistically normal manner are too quick to dismiss or throw away those who experience the world differently. Different working brain is not necessarily crazy or retarded, but can lead to serious difficulties for the human who is born with it.

    This book shows us the difference. Well written and worth the read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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