The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
June 1, 2009
Meet Christopher Boone.
He has autism, likes (and is very good at) mathematics, likes prime numbers only, and thinks that seeing four yellow cars in a row is bad.
This book is written by Mark Haddon, it’s great and I love it.
It is Haddon’s first book, published in 2003, and have won a lot of awards, such as the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year and the 2004 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book.
The title is actually a quotation of a remark made by the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1894 short story “Silver Blaze”.
The story is narrated by Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy with autism, living in Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. The book starts with his discovery of the neighbour’s dog killed with a garden-fork. Mrs Shears found Christopher holding her dead poodle, Wellington, and starts screaming, then call the cops.
Christopher is living with his father, Ed, who tells him his mother (Judy) was killed by a heart attack two years earlier. Although his father objects, Christopher sets out to find out who killed Wellington.
During his investigation, Christopher meets people whom he has never before encountered, even though they live on the same street. Eventually, Christopher finds out from Mrs. Alexander that his mother was engaged in an affair with Roger Shears, Mrs. Shears’s former husband. Ed discovers the book and confiscates it from Christopher, after a brief fight between them, though he later apologises. While searching for the confiscated book, Christopher uncovers a trove of letters which his mother wrote to him, dated after her supposed death, which his father has hidden.
Christopher, the book’s narrator, is gifted at and focused on mathematics: this is reflected by his inclusion of several famous puzzles of maths and logic. The book’s appendix is a reproduction of a question from Christopher’s A-level examination, with annotated answers.
Christopher likes only prime numbers, hence the book’s chapters are all numbered in prime numbers, ignoring composite numbers. So the first is Chapter 2, followed by 3, then 5, 7, 11, and so on, up to the last chapter, 233.
Cute, right? =p