thread: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - July '05

  1. #1

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - July '05

    This month the Platinum Book Club is reviewing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

    "On my way to school I watch the cars going past the bus and remember their colours.

    3 red cars in a row mean that it is going to be a Quite Good Day. 4 red cars mean that it is going to be a Good Day. 5 red cars mean that it is going to be a Super Good Day. And 4 yellow cars in a row mean that it is going to be a Black Day, which is a day when I don't speak to anyone and don't eat my lunch and Take No Risks, because yellow is the colour of custard and double yellow lines and Yellow Fever which is a deadly disease."

    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 a neighbour's lawn, he decides to track down the killer and write a murder mystery novel about it. In doing so, however, he uncovers other mysteries that threaten to bring his whole world crashing down around him.

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is an astonishing novel - funny, sad and utterly unputdownable.

    How The Members Rated It - score out of 5

    Astrolady - 3
    Nellbe -3
    Iris - 2
    *Shannon* - 4
    Katanya 3.5
    Megan - 3
    Sarah_H - 2
    Mum5boyz - 3
    Dee73 -2
    Jillian - 3
    Ambah - 3
    Christy - 4
    Sal - 4
    Cailin - 3.5
    Fi - 3.5

    If you wish to read the book, but are not a part of the Book Club please be warned that the following posts may contain spoilers for certain books.


  2. #2

    I found this book to be very quick and easy to read considering a chapter lasted for about 3 pages at the most. The chapters all being in prime numbers threw me for a bit, but it is also a unique way of doing it.

    I did find myself skimming over some parts especially when Christopher (the person the book is based on) went on about his formulas for doing things. However the book really put you into the shoes of someone living with Aspergers Syndrome

    I gave the book a rating of 3 as even though I wanted to keep reading once it started, I found it a bit annoying how one chapter would talk about 1 thing and the next would be about something completely different, and the chapter after would go back to the original thing again.


  3. #3
    Sal Guest

    I give the book a rating of 4.

    It was an easy read, quite often a real page-turner. The author is very good at getting across how the mind of someone with Aspergers works - the explanation of what is going on inside Christopher's head when to the outside world he is acting bizarrely, is excellent and allows insight into a very distressing syndrome.

    I found the book very emotionally touching, especially the plight of Christopher's parents, in particular the situation his dad ends up in. I really liked that there was no neat ending, no sugar-coating of Christopher's world.

    I think everyone would learn something about mental dysfunction by reading this book and I'll certainly be recommending it.

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2003
    Melbourne, Australia

    I give it a rating of 2.

    I actually found this book even though quick to read, frustrating to read. Which I could imagine must be how someone with Aspergers feels. If you have an interest in getting in the mind of someone like Christopher, this is definitely the book to read.

    Like Kathryn, I found all the formulas and parts of movies/books he went into annoying and found myself skimming over bits.

    I think this book is definitely for the younger reader. Like Shannon said its not very challenging.

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Nov 2004
    Melbourne VIC

    I am giving the book a rating of 3/5.

    It was definitely an interesting read and I really enjoyed it. Although I have had no personal experience with aspergers, it has given me an understanding of the condition that I would not have had without this reading this book.

    I think the author has written the book well to be able to get across to the reader, the behaviour of people with this condition. I did feel myself getting frustrated with the way he constantly trailed off on to another subject without finishing the last one, but I realise that this is the way his mind works. And the puzzles - well most of them were over my head! 8-[

    I really felt for Christopher's father in the book. There was a real sadness to his character.
    I am grateful to have read the book as I was completely ignorant to the condition as I have never come across it before.

    I, like Jillian didn't feel like I couldn't put it down. I know I love a book when I want to read it during any spare moment I have and I can't put it down. This book didn't have that effect on me, but it was a fascinating read nontheless.

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    I'm giving this book a rating of 4 (I guess I would truely give a 3 1/2, but...)

    Like Shannon I really found the book to reveal Aspergers syndome to me. I found reading the way he rationalised everything to help me to understand the issues that he & his familiy would have to live with.

    I really got into some of the maths 8-[. But I can see how that would be something that other people might flip the pages to get past.

    I too found the book to be a simple read, but I thought it was good because it explained Aspergers in simple terms rather than technically, which helps it become easier to understand.

  7. #7
    katanya Guest

    I would give this book a 4 (3.5 too actually if we are allowed to do a half score)

    I found the perspective of a person with Aspergers syndrome very accurate to my own life expereinces with people I have worked with who have this syndrome. All the way through I would picture certain people in my head doing the things that Christopher describes. I think the book is a very strong advocacy for people with a disability, because not only does it explain his ability to FEEL emotions but not express them, but also his incrediable intellegence in things like Maths, but things we see as simple skills like social interaction, and communication, or going outside opur know territory, is very challenging for Christopher.

    The expereinces with his family were interesting, but I felt the plot in this area suffered to the brilliance of the "bird's eye view account" of christopher's thoughts, the plot eneding was fairly predictable, and ended abruptly without much explanation of the family situation.

    I liked the maths and other observations, because it was a part of christophers thoughts so to remain true to the way the book was written it was very important to include these things.

    It was an easy read, and an interesting one, not highly challenging, but very enjoyable!

    3.5 from me

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    BellyBelly Life Member

    Jul 2004
    House of the crazy cat ladies...

    I give this book a rating of 3.

    It was a very easy read, but it did not captivate me completely, and I found it very easy to put it down if I needed to. I was frustrated with a lot of the maths, and some of the tangents that Christopher trailed onto, and would skim or skip through those parts.

    It certainly touched me emotionally, and even brought tears to my eyes (when Christopher realised that his mother wasn't dead). I also felt the fear and panic that Christopher felt, as he was trying to cope with being alone in the outside world - As it does indeed show that he feels things deeply, but is unable to express them.

    I found it to be an interesting read, though not very challenging or captivating. However it was certainly unique to be reading from the point of view of someone with Aspergers.

  9. #9
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003

    I loved this book. I would give it a 3.5. I found it very easy to read, and if anything hard to put down. I think the author did a fantastic job at seeing through the eyes of someone with aspergers. I was concerned at the start of the book that I may find it somewhat depressing, but I never did. And I almost felt like at the end of the book aspergers was not a disability but a different way of viewing the world and feeling in general. I loved the way his father had adapted their lifestyle to cope with Christophers needs. And I loved the way Christopher tried to adapt to those around him and even though he was most concerned about how things made him feel he was also aware of why others reacted the way they did etc. I am probably dribbling but I thought it was great


  10. #10
    Ex adm!n, quietly rusting....

    Feb 2004

    I give the book a rating of 2.

    I found it really frustrating to read with one chapter talking about one thing then the next about something completely unrelated at times.
    I can understand that it's written from the point of view of someone with Aspergers, but still I got frustrated with it.

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2005
    Happy Valley, Adelaide

    I'd only give this a 2. While I thought it did give quite good insight into the workings of an aspergas mind, I personally found it too annoying to read. Like many of you I found myself skimming over huge chunks of text just to get to the next plot point. I think even as an adolescent I wouldn't have particularly enjoyed this... it seems a bit like a book written to be on a class reading list!

  12. #12
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2004

    My rating for this book is 3.

    It is a very easy to read book and gives great insight to a person having aspergers. Although if you girls hadn't told me to start with that's what it was, then I wouldn't have known?

    I really felt for him when he was travelling to New York, and also when he found out his mum, poor lad.

    It definitely must be a young adults book, just in the ease of which it is written.

  13. #13
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2004

    Funniest thing... I had my name on this book for ages at the library, never got a call, and then when we were in the Cook Islands, this book was in the villas book collection! So I finally got to read it.

    I would give it 3.5* I thought it was really well written, albeit quite basic, but as everyone else has said, definirly a good insight to aspergers.


  14. #14
    BellyBelly Life Member

    Aug 2003
    Karingal, Vic

    Ooooops forgot to give my rating! I'm going to give it a 3. Was an easy read but didn't really make me want to grab it and keep reading.