The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
By Mark Haddon
(Doubleday Canada, Hardcover, 9780385659796, 240pp.)
Publication Date: June 24, 2003
List Price: $29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Foreign rights have been sold to the UK, Italy, France, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Japan, Greece, Finland, Denmark, Holland and Brazil.
Film rights have been bought by Hey Day (the makers of Harry Potter) together with Brad Grey (producer of The Sopranos) and Brad Pitt in their first acquisition for Warner Bros.
Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, this dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions.
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. At fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbour’s dog Wellington impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.
Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer, and turns to his favourite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As Christopher tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, the narrative draws readers into the workings of Christopher’s mind.
And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon’s choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotions. The effect is dazzling, making for one of the freshest debut in years: a comedy, a tearjerker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.
Mark Haddon is a writer and illustrator of numerous award-winning children’s books and television adaptations. As a young man, Haddon worked with autistic individuals. He currently teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and at Oxford University. He lives in Oxford, England.