Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime: Book Review


Christopher John Francis Boone is a fifteen-year-old, highly intellectual boy, who suffers from autism in his everyday life. When he discovers his neighbor’s dog speared by a garden fork seven minutes after midnight, Christopher becomes extremely suspicious and decides to take on an investigation as to who killed Wellington (the dog). Christopher has not been able to explore much alone in life on the daily scale, because of his disorder, but has set his mind to extend himself outside of his comfort zone in order to find out what happened to Wellington. Despite his father’s constant pleas to not investigate the murder, Christopher continues on with his journey that he volunteers to partake in, turning his world completely upside down.

The author of this book, Mark Haddon, had always had a great interest in writing, although he never initially pursued a career in it. After attending college, Haddon decided to write his first book: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” in 2003. This novel ended up becoming a smashing hit within the children and adult world. According to the British Council, “It is the first book to have been published simultaneously in two imprints – one for children and one for adults. It has won a string of prestigious awards, including the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year.”

Simon Stephens eventually adapted the book into a play, after realizing the great potential it held. The play premiered in August of 2012, in London before being introduced to Broadway, and soon on the international scale. All the good reputation that the play had picked up eventually led it in the direction of schools just like ours, wanting to adapt it into an easier to learn and produce format.

Although it received a lot of good reputation and praise, many people felt as though this book was a poor representation of autism in the form of everyday life. “If you want to read an excellent book about autism in a young person, read marcelo in the real world. this book is like hilary swank – you can tell it is trying really hard to win all the awards but it has no heart inside. and yet everyone eats it up,” says a reviewer by the name of Karen from the site Goodreads.

In my personal opinion, I think that this book did a phenomenal job at expressing what it was meant to convey to the audience. After reading the book myself, I realized the full point of the story wasn’t only to tell us about one boy’s odd discovery and pitiful journey, but also to help us acknowledge that Christopher has worked to gradually overcome his struggle with autism, and what that means to him. Development disorders such as Autism are a hard topic to work with since people might not understand the different ways these disorders can affect people, which might make it hard to understand. If you are confused when reading this book, try looking at it from an outside perspective acknowledging that others are affected by things differently than you, or someone you might know is.