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The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time

Mark Haddon

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My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and the capital cities. And every prime number up to 7507. Christopher, fifteen years old, stands beside Mrs Shears's dead dog. It has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight, and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in the book he is writing to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington. He has an extraordinary brain and is exceptional at maths, but he is ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. But Christopher's detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that turns his world upside-down. Simon Stephens's adaptation of Mark Haddon's bestselling, award-winning novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time offers a richly theatrical exploration of this touching and bleakly humorous tale.

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Fifteen-year-old Christopher has a photographic memory. He understands maths. He understands science. What he can't understand are other human beings. When he finds his neighbour's dog, Wellington, lying dead on the lawn, he decides to track down the killer and write a murder mystery about it. But in doing so, he uncovers other mysteries that threaten to bring his whole world crashing down around him.


Mark Haddon's bitterly funny debut novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is a murder mystery of sorts--one told by an autistic version of Adrian Mole. Fifteen-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone is mathematically gifted and socially hopeless, raised in a working-class home by parents who can barely cope with their child's quirks. He takes everything that he sees (or is told) at face value, and is unable to sort out the strange behavior of his elders and peers.

Late one night, Christopher comes across his neighbor's poodle, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork. Wellington's owner finds him cradling her dead dog in his arms, and has him arrested. After spending a night in jail, Christopher resolves--against the objection of his father and neighbors--to discover just who has murdered Wellington. He is encouraged by Siobhan, a social worker at his school, to write a book about his investigations, and the result--quirkily illustrated, with each chapter given its own prime number--is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Haddon's novel is a startling performance. This is the sort of book that could turn condescending, or exploitative, or overly sentimental, or grossly tasteless very easily, but Haddon navigates those dangers with a sureness of touch that is extremely rare among first-time novelists. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is original, clever, and genuinely moving: this one is a must-read. --Jack Illingworth,

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