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The novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon is about a teenage boy named Christopher Boone with a developmental disorder in a hunt to find a portrayed animal killer. This book takes place around Swindon, England in the year 1998. Christopher walks into his front yard one day to see a dog, belonging to the neighbor, murdered on the lawn. The plot of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time revolves around the internal and external conflicts that arise from this death. He starts his detective-like adventure to find the killer of the poodle and is helped by others and even his autism. This adventure starts when Chris goes to the crime scene to hold the dog in disbelief. The neighbor, Mrs. Shears, walks out and is quick to assume that Chris is the criminal for this act. She continues to call the police who show up and take Chris to the station for eventually hitting one of the officers in a misunderstanding. Christopher’s father later arrives to clear up the chaos and the policemen decide to let Chris off with an austere warning, as long as he stays away from looking further into this murder than he already has.

Chris doesn’t let this stop his exploration to find this killer. He tracks all his steps in a book, the one we are reading now, as a school project even after he received threats to not

continue from his father and the police. His next step in this investigation was interviewing his neighborhood for any answers to his questions about Wellington, the murdered poodle, but later found out that his father and Mrs. Shears had an affair. This plays an important part in the story because of the backstory it holds. The real reason this affair occurred was that Mrs. Shears’ fiance and Christopher’s mother also had an affair before her vanishing from her own child’s life so abruptly.

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Chris continues to work on his book, but accidentally leaves it in an open setting practically letting his father find it. This makes his father very upset which results in him confiscating the book. Chris decides to go and look for it when his dad is gone but finds something else to his surprise. He finds letters hidden in his father’s closet from his mother. This surprises Chris because Ed, Christopher’s dad, tells him that his mother is dead and that’s why she’s been missing his whole life. Mr. Boone comes home to find Chris passed out with all the letters surrounding his body. His father breaks down and apologizes for everything he has done which leads to him telling Chris that he’s the one who killed Wellington after he got in an argument with the neighbor. This makes Chris extremely upset at his father which causes him to run away to London, where his mother lives. This caused an unsettling feeling for his mother and Mr. Shears resulting in their split and causing Mrs. Boone to move back to Swindon. She gets frequent visits from Chris’ father, who got him a puppy for his birthday. Chris goes on to get perfect scores on math exams and a future at a university.

A character that inspires me from the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is Christopher Boone. Christopher has autism, but this doesn’t stop him from being extremely talented in the mathematics field. The book doesn’t directly state that he has autism, but key details can be seen as symptoms of this disorder. For example, Chris cannot emphasize things, he has trouble comprehending metaphors, and many more signs that give us the strong assumption that he may have a mild form of autism. The things Chris went through in this book show me that times get hard but we need to just push through them. He traveled across the globe, solved a crime, almost got hit by a train, got lied to by his father to an excessive extent, and still managed to pull through everything. It inspires me to see that someone mentally disabled can do so much and makes me want to test my capabilities. At the beginning of the novel, we see Chris as a very tight-to-himself type of person who doesn’t enjoy other conversations, and towards the end, we see how much he’s been through and how it’s doing him good. He starts to become more and more independent throughout the story and it develops his whole character.

There are some interesting symbols in the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time placed throughout the novel. One symbol I noticed multiple times is the stars in the night sky. Chris would always look up at the stars and remember how small he was compared to the entire universe. This comforts him because it makes him feel distant from the world and all of his struggles seem to disappear. Another symbol I see in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is plain and simple dogs. Dogs in this book show emotional and physical safety and are placed in spots throughout the book. We see this symbol used in the book when Wellington dies and Chris feels emotionally broken. He ended the story feeling stronger than he had ever felt and, again, a puppy was brought into the story. All these symbols plus much more that aren’t mentioned here are all represented in this novel.

I felt attached to this novel in a way that I have never before and I highly recommend it to anyone. It has all the components a good book needs and never had me bored through any of it. The author had a keen use of suspense put into the story that hooked me and made me never want to stop reading. After reading this book, I rate it a final 10 out of 10. I hardly ever find a book appealing to my interests and this one hit all the spots I look for in a good book. In conclusion, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a fantastic book. It had me so addicted to it as soon as I started it and I didn’t want to put it down ever since I started reading it.

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