Book review: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The

Do you ever give a book a second chance? I mean quite literally – like you read the first time and you don’t like it, but then you give it another chance and ending up appreciating it more? Well, that is what happened with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

Do you ever give a book a second chance and end up appreciating it more? Well, that is what happened with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Read my review here Click To Tweet

About the book

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Book Name: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Author: Mark Haddon

Genre: Fiction – Drama

Characters: Christopher John Francis Boone, Toby, Wellington, Siobhan, Mr. Jeavons, Mrs. Alexander, Ed Boone, Judy Boone, Mr. and Mrs. Eileen Shears

Setting: England, The UK

The plot

Christopher John Francis Boone, a fifteen year old kid on the Autism/Asperger’s syndrome, is on a mission to find out who murdered his neighbour’s dog, Sherlock Holmes’ style. While he has a gift for math, he has difficulty reading other people’s emotion and hates being touched. 

His father finds it difficult to understand his needs. His mother did it all for him until she died suddenly and now they left to fend for themselves. Did he find the murderer? What happened to his mother? Read the rest of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to know more.

My initial thoughts

I know I rarely give books that I DNF-ed a second chance and I decided to read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time because the Classics N Christie book club chose it as the BOTM. And I really wanted to know what happened after I gave up on it and why everyone goes gaga over it. 

Even though it plays the stereotypical high functioning autistic kid, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time helped me take a look at what happens inside the head of an autistic teen.

If I wonder what is the difference between the first time I read it and now, I would guess it is that I am more educated about the autistic syndrome, thanks to mainstream media and other books. 

Things that worked for me

  • While I found it hard to get into the first time I read it, I liked the writing style now.
  • I was genuinely surprised when the big reveal came up and I hadn’t guessed it at all.
  • Christopher is a classic example of unreliable narrators, whom I love in general.

Things that didn’t work for me

Christopher falls straight into the holes of the stereotypes of autistic persons. 

Bottom-line

I am glad I gave The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time a second chance and I wish that I liked it more. Sure I didn’t love it, but I didn’t dislike it as much I did the first time.

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Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Let us chat

Have you read this one? Or watched the play? Do have a better recommendation with a better Autistic representation? Let us talk.

18 COMMENTS

  1. That’s neat that you gave this book a second chance! I never go back to books I DNF’ed. I used to try to power through DNFs and would always end up disliking them. Now I just move on.

  2. I adore this book. Whilst I understand people saying that Christopher was stereotypical Autistic, he behaves in a way a lot of Autistic people do, especially children. I should know I have a teenage son who is Autistic. I could see Christopher in my son whilst reading it and it taught me a lot about my son’s thought processes.

  3. Sometimes it really pays off to give a book another chance. There was one book that, for some reason, I gave 3 or 4 chances and FINALLY the book and my brain got on the same page (ha ha) and it was one of the best books I ever read. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. For the life of me I could not get past the first chapter or two in that book, until one day I was finally able to just keep going.

    • I had a similar issue with his Virgin Suicides and I loved it later. It is one of those rare books that I reread once in a few years.

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