Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

on April 17, 2012

This semester we will read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. Please read the description below then answer ONE of the following questions in the comments. Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, sometimes it takes several hours before it comes up. Email me if you have any problems or questions. And don’t forget to bring a notebook and clear folder to class next time!

“This book is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger’s Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of his road on his own, but when he finds a neighbor’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.”

1. Why do you think this is murder mystery is so different from usual ones?

2. What do you think will happen in the story?

3. How do you think the narrator’s Asperger’s Syndrome might affect the story?

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13 responses to “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

  1. tufsmatt says:

    Hi everybody,

    I read the book a few years ago so I already know what will happen… 😉
    This novel is great because it’s funny, a little sad, quite surprising and interesting all at the same time.

    I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

    See you on Tuesday!

  2. Ayumi Sugaya says:

    Hi,this is Ayumi.
    I will answer the first question.I think this story has two different points.
    First,the victim of the murder is not a person like usual ones but a dog.
    Second, in usual mysteries, the detective is a person who is good at communication and human relations. However, Christopher is poor at them.
    I am looking forward to reading this story:)

  3. Satomi Togari says:

    Hello ! This is Satomi Togari.
    Here is my answer to the 3rd question.
    Due to the fact that Christopher has Asperger’s Syndrome, I think he may find it hard to communicate with other people and step outside his comfort zone when starting his unexpected journey to solve the mystery. At the same time, as people with Asperger’s are known to display intense concentration when it comes to things that interests them, I imagine this characteristic may help Christopher in some parts of the story.
    Like Ayumi, I can’t wait to start this story which already sounds great from the synopsis !!

    Satomi

  4. Kei Inamura says:

    Hi, this is Kei.
    I answer the 1st question.
    I think it is unusual that the victim of the murder is a dog,not a person.
    Also the detective, Christopher, is only 15 and has Asperger’s Syndrome.
    I’ve never seen such a young and challenged(?) detective.

  5. Akira Nemoto says:

    Hi, this is Akira Nemoto.
    Here’s my answer to the first question.
    As for detective novels, detectives usually have very good insights into human minds so that they can solve problems and understand why the problems take place, in other words, why people commit crimes.
    However, people having Asperger’s Syndrome are known for having trouble communicating with people, so it seems nearly impossible for them to be detectives.
    That’s what makes the novel totally different from other ones.

  6. Mina says:

    Hi,this is Mina.
    I think this mystery is unlike others because the detective has Asperger’s Syndrome.
    In many cases, detectives in stories are people whose occupations are detective or people who are fun of mystery novels.
    But this story’s detective is a young boy and has an disability.
    So,I wonder how this boy will solve the mystery.

  7. Jiin Choi says:

    Hi, I’m Jiin Choi from T4.

    Before answering the question, I should say you put the wrong “is” in the first question. Didn’t you mean “1. Why do you think this (is) murder mystery is so different from usual ones?”?
    Anyway, I’m gonna answer the first question from now on.

    First of all, the reason why this book is different from usual murder mystery is because the main character is only a 15-year-boy,which is quite young.I’ve read several murder mystery novels but I haven’t seen this much young boy.This makes sound more like adventure than “murder mystery”.
    Second, it’s because the victim is a dog. Any murder mystery novel lovers may not really want to read the novel about finding out who killed “A DOG”.But I think setting “A DOG” as a victim seems to make this novel more MYSTERIOUS.
    Third, I can’t feel any tension or fear reading the part of murder case,which are the most attractive and important thing in reading murder mystery.

    So I’m starting to get more curious about this novel.Is this really a “MURDER MYSTERY”?!I can’t wait to read it!:)

    Jiin Choi

  8. Jay says:

    Hi Matt!!
    For Q.2…Judging by what you wrote in the post, I think some of his unique differences will change by the end of the book because Christopher’s going to have to face a lot of hard and odd challenges. Or maybe everything in the story was just a dream and nothing was actually real. Or it was actually him that killed the dog. I can’t wait to find out what really happened!
    See y’all tomorrow…I mean, today.

  9. Wataru Okubo says:

    Hi, this is Wataru. Here’s my answer to the second question.
    As far as I know, while people with Asperger’s Syndrome have a splendid ability on number and memory, they have difficulty interacting with other people because they cannot understand or read human mind as well as normal people do. However, it is usually inevitable for a detective to clarify what people did in an incident by finding hidden information, which requires keen observation. As I don’t have the slightest idea as to how he approaches to the mystery yet, I came to two conclusions: 1) he will solve it all by himself from his unique perspective and 2) he will get over his disability, open his mind and learn how to get along with people in the middle of solving it.

  10. Shino Yanagimura says:

    Goodmorning!
    For the answer to the second question, the main character Christopher must face a great deal of difficulty since he has mental problems. To solve the mystery, Christopher will probably go investegate outside and experience things he never had.
    For people who do not like to be touched, going outside must be great stress. If he is planning to solve the problem alone, i could imagine how hard it would be and how exciting it would be for us, to read about his great adventure going out of his small world!

  11. Mayu says:

    Sorry for being late.
    1st question
    I wonder whether the dog can murder or not.that’s the unusual point.
    I’m looking forward to reading it!

  12. Kano Nagashima says:

    Hi,
    3. I think this syndrome will be a very special thing in order to solve the murder of the dog .i think so because do to the ability of the aspergers syndrome for example being able to memorize things and to think logically than others, it may be a special and handy thing to solve the case.

    Kano

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