The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

by Haddon, Mark; narrated by Jeff Woodman

Title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Genre: Literary Fiction/ Audio book

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 5 audio discs; 6.25 hours

Geographical Setting: England

Time Period: Current Day

Series: n/a

Plot Summary: When Christopher discovers his neighbor’s poodle impaled on a garden rake, he is determined to discover the truth behind the murder. Christopher is 15 years old, mathematically gifted, and autistic. During his investigation, Christopher inadvertently finds out the secret behind his mother’s death. Written in the first person narrative, Haddon’s well- developed portrayal of Christopher’s autistic behaviors is realistic. Christopher doesn’t like to be touched, has to be taught appropriate social behaviors, and is very literal. Narrator Jeff Woodman’s portrayal of Christopher’s British accent and unique voice is convincing and authentic. This simply written, leisurely paced, character-driven novel is a warm coming of age story. Christopher’s disability also takes a toll on his family and the portrayal of his flawed parents is believable. The multi-dimensional plot drives this gentle mystery to a hopeful conclusion.  Haddon’s use of humor; and simple, unaffected language provide an accurate and heartwarming portrayal of living with autism.

Audio note: Chapter numbers do not progress in a traditional linear sequence.

Subject Headings: Autism; England; Savant Syndrome; Coming of Age; Gentle Mystery; Parenting Disabled Children; Living with a Disability; Murder; Family Secrets; Dogs; Sherlock Holmes; Mathematics

Appeal: leisurely-paced, unique voice, lifelike characterization, well-developed primary and secondary characters, mildly investigative, simple language, detailed setting, first person narrative, unaffected British jargon, heartwarming, humorous, accurate portrayal of autism, character-centered

3 terms that best describe this book: realistic description of autism, family secrets, moving

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

McCarthy, Jenny—Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism (honest, parenting autistic children, autism awareness, humorous)

Mukhopadhyay, Tito Rajarshi—How Can I Talk If My Lips Don’t Move?: Inside My Autistic Mind (first person narrative, realistic account of autistic behaviors, authentic language, parents of autistic children)

Taylor, Blake E.S.—What I Learned from Lighting Fires a the Dinner Table (teen memoir, coping with a disability, honest, handicap awareness)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Kaslik, Ibi—Skinny (first person alternating narratives, coming of age, family secrets, sympathetic characters, realistic account of disability)

Stork, Francisco X—Marcelo in the Real World (believable first person narrative, adolescent with Asperger’s Syndrome, realistic portrayal of parenting a disabled child, authentic language, strong primary and secondary characters, moving)

Tobe, Keiko—With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child (moving graphic novel, realistic account of parental struggles with disabled child, sensitive treatment of disability, informative, steady pacing, bittersweet)

Name: Debbie Siegel


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One Response to “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

  1. My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours Says:

    That’s my favorite book. Seriously.

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