“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime:” a curious tale


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"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" is definitely worth the read.

By: Rebecca Melton, Spring Editor & Reporter

In May of 2003 author Mark Haddon published to be critically-acclaimed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (TCIDN.) In May of 2018 I completely fell in love with the fiction that Haddon created.

TCIDN follows the story of a fifteen year old boy with autism spectrum disorder named Christopher Boone. Christopher lives alone with his father, who tells Christopher that his mother is dead.

The novel starts with Christopher discovering the dead body of his neighbor’s dog. After a squabble with a police officer, where Christopher hits a policeman due to a fit of panic, Christopher decides he is going to solve the murder of the dog. He furthermore decides that he is going to write a book while doing so.

Haddon wrote TCIDN in first-person from the perspective of Christopher. Christopher takes the audience along with him on his thrilling murder mystery full of twists and turns.


loved this book. I felt as though I couldn’t put it down while I was reading it- I was completely engrossed.

The writing is brilliant. The conversational tone of the entire novel felt like I really was reading the ponderings of a 15 year old boy. The characterizations are amazing. There was true growth of character throughout the entire piece and it was astonishing to watch these characters grow.

I liked how I never knew what to expect from the book- it was so full of twists and turns that I was always on the edge of my seat. But I also genuinely appreciated how the tension and suspense was sometimes cut off by long, off-topic tangents. Christopher’s character would retreat from tension by thinking about math or fun puzzles, and I thought that touch was really nice and added to Christopher’s overall character.

I usually don’t reach for first-person books, but TCIDN managed to completely enthrall me because of Christopher’s character and the astoundingly good plot.

Furthermore, this book was very easy to read. There was little to no metaphor, parallelism, synecdoche, or other literary jargon. The vocabulary used was very simple and easy to understand. The entire book was very straight-forward. Haddon wrote this book in a way that just about anybody could read.

Mental Disorders

One of the more interesting motifs in TCIDN is the handling of mental illness- particularly how mainstream society handles mental illness. Christopher frequently runs into issues that stem from people poorly handling his mental disorder. Haddon never writes Christopher’s autism as the problem. Instead, he writes the people who poorly handle his autism as the problem.

And the way Haddon writes Christopher is wonderful. The way Haddon handles Christopher’s autism is particularly brilliant. He expresses how Christopher views the world through words and symbols and pictures.

Play Adaptation

TCIDN has been adapted into a play, and it is just as great as the book. Christopher’s mindset is portrayed beautifully through props, set design, and lighting. Topics like sensory overload and panic attacks are even more noticeable.