Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

on April 9, 2013

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. Two or three sentences is enough. 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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19 responses to “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

  1. Yuto Takahashi (T4) says:

    1.The victim of the murder is a dog, and the main character has a huge weak point when it comes to investigating normal crimes. It reminds me of a movie called “Memento”.

    2.The main character must make lists to keep track of what happened when, and what he should do because of his disease.

    3.His disease is a huge weak point when it comes to solving mysteries, but when we try to walk in his shoes, his point of view would be new and unusual(in a good way).

  2. Fumina Watanabe (T4) says:

    2. I think Christopher Boone will recover from Asperger’s Syndrome. He will change by meeting many people and by trying hard to find the murderer during his journey. I also think the murderer will be found by him at the end.

  3. Miki Hosoda (T4) says:

    1.Usaually, detectives that appear on novels are described as intelligent, smart, or clever, like Sherlock Holmes. However, this story differs from other mystery novels in that the main character has a cognitive disorder called Asperger’s Syndrome. I think Christopher will make use of his superior ability on patterns and lists and successfully solve the case.

  4. Ayaka Kora says:

    1. This mystery is different from usual ones because the detective is a teenager and has Asperger’s syndrome. I think it’ll be interesting to see how this boy will set out a journey when he hasn’t ever gone further than the end of his road by himself.

  5. Kyoko Nomura(T4) says:

    2. I think Chiristopher Boone will gradually come to understand about human beings by tracking the murderer by using his intelligence in math. I don’t think he will completely recover from Asperger’s syndrome, but he may be improved.

  6. Hong Soon-hyuk says:

    1. I think the main character is not usual compared to the detective in usual mystery novels. Christopher barely cares about human being’s feeling, but he can see all the things in objectively in that he knows a great deal of math. This characteristic will help him find out all the mystery that he experienced.

  7. Kaori Kubo (T4) says:

    3. I think that the consequences of the narrator’s Aspergers syndrome – his mathematical abilities and social interaction disabilities – will both play a significant role in his unprecedented journey. The former could be useful when planning and calculating his every move, while the latter could hinder his attempt to communicate with other people, resulting in him having to solve the mystery all by himself.

  8. Satoko Komori (T4) says:

    3. I think that the narrator’s Asperger’s Syndrome will be a great advantage as well as a great disadvantage in his attempt to solve the murder case. His knowledge about math and love for lists and patterns are signs that he is good at logical thinking which is an indispensable skill as a detective. In addition to that, I guess that he will never give up trying until he finds out the murderer because he is obsessed with the truth. But at the same time, he has a difficulty communicating with others, which can be a serious obstacle for him. I think that how he overcomes the disability will be the climax of novel.

    • Satoko Komori (T4) says:

      I made a silly error in the last sentence. I forgot to type “the” in front of the word “novel”.

  9. Hiroko Takabatake /T4 says:

    3. How do you think the narrator’s Asperger’s Syndrome might affect the story?
    Since the storyteller of the novel is Christopher, I think we will be able to see the incident in a very different way than what other “normal” or “average” people would have told us. Christopher is obsessed with maths, rules and patterns, so I predict he will see everything in the incident as datas and patterns, (not like what other people might have seen) and chase for the truth until the very end. On the other hand, I am wondering how he starts to communicate with others, since he just cannot solve everything by himself.

  10. Ryuji Furukido(T4) says:

    1. I think the reason why this story is different from other usual murder mystery novels is Christopher Boone,the main character of this story, has Asperger’s Syndrome because I heard that people with Asperger’s Syndrome are not able to reason and think logically from contexts.

  11. Kurumi Takeuchi (T4) says:

    1.Usual dedectives in mysteries have a board experience,and they solve their problemes with what they have learned from their experiences.However, Christopher Boone has never gone further than the end of his road on his own.Also, that the victim is a dog is very unusual.

  12. Ayane Kawahara (T$) says:

    1. I think that since the narrator and the detective Christopher Boone has Asperger’s Syndrome, he might lead the readers and himself to the truth by ways which might seem abnormal in normal mystery novels, like remembering or knowing things extraordinarily.
    I also think it is unusual that it is a dog that got murdered.

  13. Arisa Kurihara (T4) says:

    1. Usually detectives are quick-witted and have a wide knowledge of many things from their broad experiences. However the detective in this story has Asperger’s Syndrome and may be lacking general knowledge as he has never gone further than the end of his road on his own.

  14. Maiko Imai says:

    3.I think the narrators Aspergers syndrome could give us a new view to this mystery. In my image of a detective ,they talk to many people to find clues,Christopher needs to find a new way to collect clues.So he could take advantage of Aspergers syndrome and use mathematics and lists.

  15. Eri Fukui (T4) says:

    3. How do you think the narrator’s Asperger’s Syndrome might affect the story?
    There aren’t so many mystery novels with a person with Asperger’s Syndrome narrating the story like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. They are very unique in that they focus on something they’re really interested in, so I think Christopher will take advantage of his exclusive ability to solve the mystery of the murder of his neighbour’s dog.

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