39. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon (100 book challenge)

It was an intriguing title that sounded light and fun, and I thought it might be just what I needed after 5 weeks of the dense emotional roller-coaster of Love in the Time of Cholera. It didn’t disappoint: I enjoyed reading every word.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon ...

In the book, teenage Christopher tries to solve the mystery of who killed his neighbour’s dog. As we read on, it’s clear that he sees the world in a unique way – through numbers and facts – and that he struggles with most human interactions.

The book is fun to read, because it breaks a lot of the rules. The chapter numbers are prime numbers, rather than the usual 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. and throughout the book there are puzzles and maps and drawings, exactly what a teenage boy living with Christopher’s condition might do. We get to know Christopher closely, and feel his pain as he is faced with challenge after challenge and is misunderstood by most around him.

My only complaint with this book is that it was over too quickly, which is something I never thought I’d say! When I started this 100 book challenge, I didn’t enjoy reading. Almost every book I opened was an uphill battle to make it to the last page. Six years ago, I never would have finished books like Dracula or Rebecca – in fact, I never would have attempted them in the first place.

This, I am very pleased to say, has changed. I now look forward to getting lost in a lengthy book, to not just reading a description of a character but really getting to know them. When I started this challenge, I was unsure how far I’d get. Now, it’s looking more and more likely that I might actually succeed.

Thank you, Mark Haddon, for expanding my mind. Even if it was only for a few short pages.


In July 2014 I set myself the challenge to finish 100 must-read books before I die. For my ongoing tally click here.


Filed under 100 book challenge

5 responses to “39. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon (100 book challenge)

  1. Pingback: 100 book challenge: my running tally | Jessie Ansons

  2. Love the way you describe the main protagonist in this book without attaching labels to his ‘situation’. Society can be very quick to categorise people and to pop them mindlessly into boxes of one description or another. Well done!

  3. I’ve not read the book, but I did see a Broadway touring show in 2017 in Seattle. An amazing show to see. I know you have lots of books to read, but now that you know you can read a challenging book I’ll give you a good one… The Shadow of the Wind. Check it out… it’s not challenging, it’s just good.

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