The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time by Mark Haddon – a Mini-Review

Title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Author: Mark Haddon

Published: 2003

Age Rating: 13+

Star Rating: 2.5/5

Like many other books, to read this book, you must be in a specific mood, and though it sounds little harsh, it has to be a depressing mood. The story is written in the viewpoint of a fifteen year old autistic boy – Christopher Boone, and is a story surrounding the death of a dog. Originally I picked this book, lured in by the apparent murder-mystery genre, but I was disappointed to realise it is not based on this genre at all. It is basicly the diary of this boy, and this wasn’t a subject that interested me very much at all. I think it is an interesting topic to write about, but the book didn’t clearly indicate that is was a story of this genre which was a bit misleading. Anyway, so the author doesn’t waste any time in beginning the story and with some strong language, retells the finding of Mrs Shear’s dead dog. The dog has been killed with a garden fork and Christopher ‘being fond of dogs’ goes and sees if it is all right, but obviously it is dead. He pulls the fork out of the dog and cradles the dead creature in his arms. It is then that Mrs Shear’s appears and makes a slightly violent inquiry into what has happened to her dog. The Police then appear and Christopher hits one of them and is taken off to Prison.

This book is read in satisfyingly short chapters and not only that, but like no other book I have read, it is not your average Chapter 1,2,3 but in prime numbers! An interesting and amusing aspect of the book. Obviously to do with the fact Christopher is a big mathematician.

His father later arrives to pick him up, and there is a quite annoying and repetitive conversation between the father, the Policeman and Christopher over whether the boy meant to hit the Policeman or not. When that’s all over, Christopher is let off with only a warning and he and his father return home. It is then that the death of his mother is introduced. Apparently she died of a heart attack and the narrator and main character describes a few interesting things about that subject (how there is two types of heart attacks, etc, etc) But then he goes on to state various un-proved facts, which I don’t like about this book. For example, stating so decidedly that ‘heaven is not real’. Just one of a series of annoying and depressing speculations. I think it is best to leave subjects of such open to those who wish to believe in them, but instead he says so blatantly that ‘it is not real’.

Anyway, Christopher goes on to make his investigations and this is where I am up to, so that is why this is officially a ‘Mini-Review’. Something that will hopefully be appearing more often on my Blog!


And so there are my views. I can see why some people might enjoy the book. It is an interesting insight to another way of life, but personally I could only read so much, and I half think, this book will be returning to the bookshelf as quick as it came off it! I am pleased I only paid 50p for it. Perhaps I will return to it in years to come however and appreciate it a little more.

The proper review will be appearing on Wednesday as I said, and will be based on a slightly happier and jollier book: Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo. An excellent read.


2 thoughts on “The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time by Mark Haddon – a Mini-Review

  1. fiona says:

    I have to disagree really as I love this book. I’ve read it at least three times in fact. I’m always surprised when it’s marketed as being for children or young adults as it does deal with some darker themes. I don’t think you have to be in a depressive mood to read it either, perhaps a sympathetic one would do. Christopher sees the world incredibly differently from you or I and thus sees things in quite black and white terms much of the time, which is why he says things like heaven is not real. His repetitive conversations stem from this as well as he doesn’t have the same sort of imagination or ability to communicate and respond appropriately in new situations.

    It’s not a true mystery novel but the solution to who killed the dog is actually quite a big surprise in the end and ties in with some other mysteries in Christopher’s life, mostly to do with his mother. I think if you can you should read to the end as it does have a fairly satisfying resolution.


    • poppyonkirrinisland says:

      Hi Fiona,

      Thanks for your views. Obviously we both have different opinions upon the book and it’s good to have your perspective on the contents. It is of course, a fascinating insight into another way of life, but it didn’t make relaxing, enjoyable reading for me, unfortunately. I’d like to try it again sometime, though, if it has a good ending.


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