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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon


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#1 Kell

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 02:44 PM

I highly recommend it - it was one of my most highly rated books last year & I have every intention of reading it again. I really loved it & I think it's one of those books that appeals to readers of all ages & genres. To my mind, this one's destined to become a classic. It'll be one of those books that kids get set as their exam texts for English, but ti'll be one of the ones they really enjoy anyway...

Edited by Kell, 25 November 2008 - 09:42 PM.


#2 Freewheeling Andy

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 03:10 PM

I agree with Kell. It's one of those books that takes half an afternoon to read, and which any age could (and should) read. But that doesn't take away any of the impact. It's an excellent, excellent little book.

#3 claire55

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 06:09 PM

I agree completely. I read this book some time ago and found it extremely absorbing. It opens your eyes to the illness and you really get into the characters. would thoroughly recommend it and as said, it wont take long to read it, so you can fit it in between 'bigger' books.

#4 Kell

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 06:10 PM

And even though it deals with some pretty tough stuff, it managed never to bog you down - it's a really uplifting story that fills you with hope & makes you smile.

#5 Michelle

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 06:28 PM

Andy! You enjoyed a popular book!!

#6 Freewheeling Andy

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 06:58 PM

I know. It's shocking, isn't it. But it does happen every now and then. I'm back on the obscure stuff now, though.

#7 Maureen

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 03:46 PM

A truly remarkable piece of work! My only regret is I borrowed this book - it is not mine to keep, for I will surely read it again in the future. I would think we should propose this for the reading circle, it is a must for any book lover!

#8 Sarahrob

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 09:38 AM

Oh goody - I have this on my pile of books to read. I may bump it up a few places now!

#9 Janet

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 05:34 PM

I agree with Kell. It's one of those books that takes half an afternoon to read, and which any age could (and should) read. But that doesn't take away any of the impact. It's an excellent, excellent little book.

This has become my friend's son's favourite book. He's 12, and has read it several times. He hasn't been diagnosed as having autism, but displays some of the symptoms and said he could really relate to Christopher.

I loved it. I leant my copy to my Mum and to a different friend's husband, who is a 'non-reader' and they both loved it to.

In fact, I've yet to meet anyone who hasn't enjoyed it.

#10 Philip Stein

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 09:19 AM

In that case, Bagpuss, I'm delighted to be able to introduce you to an entirely new experience. I have to say I didn't like this at all. I didn't see any real distinction between Christopher's voice (15-year-old with Asperger's) and, say, Paddy Clarke in Roddy Doyle's 1993 Booker winner (normal 9-year-old). I liked the maths puzzles but the rest left me cold. I suppose it's hard to get readers emotionally involved when the narrator consciously eschews emotion (though others have managed it, so maybe Haddon just wasn't up to the job...) I got a tip-off about it from a friend in the book trade whose recommendations I had liked in the past, and bought it as soon as it came out. So the only upside is I now have a first edition which I am hoping will become valuable one day...

#11 Anonymous

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 10:07 AM

I have to say I didn't like this at all. I didn't see any real distinction between Christopher's voice (15-year-old with Asperger's) and, say, Paddy Clarke in Roddy Doyle's 1993 Booker winner (normal 9-year-old).


I was the same when I read this novel and would second your opinion on Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. I still think that The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time is just a kids' book (cynically dressed up with optional 'adult' cover, like Harry Potter...) and, as such, lacked substance to make it complete.

The prose was too simple and I felt that it wasn't for my age group due to how linear it felt. Doyle, in Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha made his title character oblivious to the reasons/causes of most things in life, maintaining overall innocence to such factors as his life fell down around him through a couple of subplots.

#12 Freewheeling Andy

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 06:02 PM

I think you two are misreading the book. It works as a kids book, but it functions as an adult book too. I never read Paddy Clark, so can't fully comment on the comparison, but the emotional vacuum was part of what was engaging about the book. The things left unsaid by the narrator gave the book subtleties and depth that will never be picked up by, say, a 12 year old.

Just because a book is short, and simple, doesn't mean it doesn't bring impact.

It also has to be linear, I think, given the subject matter.

#13 Anonymous

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 06:44 PM

I think you two are misreading the book. It works as a kids book, but it functions as an adult book too.


I think that it would have to be a bit meatier for me to see it as an adult book. I don't mean I would want Christopher to be more philosophical about things but I would have liked to read more adult themes that he could describe and simply not get leaving me, as a reader, in more of a position to empathise with the character. As such, his disdain for certain colours, touching food, and whatnot, as he makes one brief journey is the sort of thing a kid could use as an introduction to Aspergers so as to teach tolerance and empathy for others in a fun way, but just isn't all that exciting for an adult. Well, two adults at least. :wink:

I never read Paddy Clark


Get thee to a bookstore. :lol:

Just because a book is short, and simple, doesn't mean it doesn't bring impact.


Certainly, as my recent reading of Animal Farm has proven.

#14 Philip Stein

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 08:57 AM

I think you two are misreading the book.


The very idea!

[T]he emotional vacuum was part of what was engaging about the book. The things left unsaid by the narrator gave the book subtleties and depth that will never be picked up by, say, a 12 year old.


Well now, if you want a book with emotional vacuum and things unsaid then The Remains of the Day is the benchmark. For things unsaid within an emotional maelstrom, making the reader work out what's happening between the lines, Patrick McGrath is yer man. I don't think Haddon's a good enough writer to do the whole layers and subtleties and depth thing. In his case I think the appearance of shallowness covers nothing more than real shallowness.

Just because a book is short, and simple, doesn't mean it doesn't bring impact.


Quite, as Stewart said. See also J.L. Carr's A Month in the Country, Ben Rice's Pobby & Dingan or thousands of others. But I think Curious Incident is not so much simple as simplistic. An interesting comparison is Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn, which is a detective story narrated by a man with Tourette's syndrome. With its elements of obsessive-compulsive disorder, it in fact has overlaps with Asperger's. It's a rich, rewarding read, with far more depth than Haddon's book.

#15 Freewheeling Andy

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 09:43 AM

But just because there are other books that cover autism, say, or emotional vacuum better than Curious Incident, that doesn't mean Curious Incident has no value as an adult book.

That would be like arguing that because Kafka's Amerika covers the feeling of alienation in immigration better, there's no value in a book like Jonathan Raban's Waxwings.

Anyway, I found Curious Incident not only enjoyable, but I thought it had more depth and told more stories than would make it exclusively a childrens' book. Perhaps Haddon is not a magnificent writer who can show even more subtleties, but that doesn't stop the book itself being both and adult and childrens book - which is, I always feel, something of an achievement in itself.

#16 Sugar

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 05:09 PM

Personally, I see Curious Incident as a Young Adult Novel - certainly not for anyone younger than about 13, but with no real upper age limit.

It has a lot that a younger reader would not understand, and although it is not written as an adult book, it addresses a very serious theme in a very accessible way.

In comparison to a lot of his other younger fiction, Mark Haddon has shown that he really has developed as an author, and I think he will have other great works to come.

#17 Philip Stein

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 06:45 PM

We'll soon find out - his new novel A Spot of Bother comes out in September. It's for adults only, I believe. (No, not in that sense.)

#18 Kell

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 07:08 PM

We'll soon find out - his new novel A Spot of Bother comes out in September. It's for adults only, I believe. (No, not in that sense.)

Ooh, that one sounds interesting - I may well have to get hold of that one!

#19 Janet

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 07:29 PM

Another book to add to my wish list! :lol:

#20 KAY

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 08:17 PM

I first read this book because i was interested in aspergus syndrome due to working with children all day, but the book became alot more than that as i read it. I loved the character as he progressed through the book and found myself quite saddened by some of the situations in the book. I felt it was simply told story yet extremely powerful. The bit that moved me was when he found the letters. I was choked and it's rare for me to find a book that does that to me. I think i would like to read it agian.




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