Title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Author: Mark Haddon.
Genre: Fiction, YA, teen, Bildungsroman, mental health, mystery.
Publication Date: May, 2003.
Summary: Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This is an improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog, during which he accidentally unravels a heart-breaking mystery of his own family.
My rating: 6/10.
♥ Then she showed me this picture and I knew it meant "happy," like when I'm reading about the Apollo space missions, or when I am still awake at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. in the morning and I can walk up and down the street and pretend that I am the only person in the whole world.
♥ Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.
♥ Mother used to say that it meant Christopher was a nice name because it was a story about being kind and helpful, but I do not want my name to mean a story about being kind and helpful. I want my name to mean me.
♥ I said that I wasn't clever. I was just noticing how things were, and that wasn't clever. That was just being observant. Being clever was when you looked at how thins wee and used the evidence to work out something new. Like the universe expanding, or who committed a murder.
♥ All the other children at my school are stupid. Except I'm not meant to call them stupid, even though this is what they are. I'm meant to say that they have learning difficulties or that they have special needs. But this is stupid because everyone has learning difficulties because learning to speak French or understanding relativity is difficult and also everyone has special needs, like Father, who has to carry a little packet of artificial sweetening tablets around with him to put in his coffee to stop him from getting fat, or Mrs. Peters, who wears a beige-colored hearing aid, or Siobhan, who has glasses so thick that they give you a headache if you borrow them, and none of these people are Special Needs, even if they have special needs.
But Siobhan said we have to use those words because people used to call children like the children at school spaz and crip and mong, which were nasty words. But that is stupid too because sometimes the children from the school down the road see us in the street when we're getting off the bus and they should, "Special Needs! Special Needs!"
♥ Mrs. Forbes said that hating yellow and brown is just being silly. And Siobhan said that she shouldn't say things like that and everyone has favorite colors. And Siobhan was right. But Mrs. Forbes was a bit right, too. Because it is sort of being silly. But in life you have to take lots of decisions and if you don't take decisions you would never do anything because you would spend all your time choosing between things you could do. So it is good to have a reason why you hate some things and you like others. It is like being in a restaurant like when Father takes me out to a Berni Inn sometimes and you look at the menu and you have to choose when you are going to have. But you don't know if you are going to like something because you haven't tasted it yet, so you have favorite foods and you choose these, and you have foods you don't like and you don't choose these, and then it is simple.
♥ And Father said, "Christopher, do you understand that I love you?"
And I said "Yes," because loving someone is helping them when they get into trouble, and looking after them, and telling them the truth, and Father looks after me when I get into trouble, like coming to the police station, and he looks after me by cooking meals for me, and he always tells me the truth, which means that he loves me.
♥ Eventually scientists will discover something that explains ghosts, just like they discovered electricity, which explained lightning, and it might be something about people's brains, or something about the earth's magnetic field, or it might be some new force altogether. And then ghosts won't be mysteries. They will be like electricity and rainbows and nonstick frying pans.
♥ I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.
♥ I see everything.
That is why I don't like new places. If I am in a place I know, like home, or school, or the bus, or the shop, or the street, I have sen almost everything in it beforehand and all I have to do is to look at the things that have changed or moved. For example, one week the Shakespeare's Globe poster gad fallen down in the classroom at school and you could tell because it had been put back slightly to the right and there were three little circles of Blu-Tack stain on the wall down the left-hand side of the poster. An the next day someone had graffitied CROW APTOK to lamppost 437 in our street, which is the one outside number 35.
But most people are lazy. They never look art everything. They do what is called glancing, which is the same word for bumping off something and carrying on in almost the same direction.
♥ And this is the joke.
There are three men on a train. One of them is an economist and one of them is a logician and one of them is a mathematician. And they have just crossed the border into Scotland (I don't know why they are going to Scotland) and they see a brown cow standing in a field from the window of the train (and the cow is standing parallel to the train).
And the economist says, "Look, the cows in Scotland are brown."
And the logician says, "No. There are cows in Scotland of which one at least is brown."
And the mathematician says, "No. There is at least one cow in Scotland, of which one side appears to be brown."
And it is funny because economists are not real scientists, and because logicians think more clearly, but mathematicians are the best.
♥ And this is why I am good at chess and maths and logic, because most people are almost blind and they don't see most things and there is lots of spare capacity in their heads and it is filled with things which aren't connected and are silly, like, "I'm worried that I might have left the gas cooker on."
♥ And this means time is a mystery, and not even a thing, and no one has ever solved the puzzle of what time ism exactly. And so, if you get lost in time it is like being lost in a desert, except that you can't see the desert because it is not a thing.
And this is why I like timetables, because they make sure you don't get lost in time.
♥ People believe in God because the world is very complicated and they think it is very unlikely that anything as complicated as a flying squirrel or the human eye or a brain could happen by chance. But they should think logically and if they thought logically they would see that they can only ask this question because it has already happened and they exist. And there are billions of planets where there is no life, but there is no one on those planets with brains to notice. And it is like if everyone in the world was tossing coins eventually someone would get 5,698 heads in a row and they would think they were very special. But they wouldn't be because there would be millions of people who didn't get 5,698 heads.
And there is life on earth because of an accident. But it is a very special kind of accident. And for this accident to happen in this special way, there have to be 3 conditions. And these are
1. Things have to make copies of themselves (this is called Replication)
2. They have to make small mistakes when they do this (this is called Mutation)
3. These mistakes have to be the same in their copies (this is called Heredity)
And these conditions are very rare, but they are possible, and they cause life. And it just happens. But it doesn't have to end up with rhinoceroses and human beings and whales. It could end up with anything.
And, for example, some people say how can an eye happen by accident? Because an eye has to evolve from something else very like an eye and it doesn't just happen because of a genetic mistake, and what is the use of half an eye? Bit half an eye is very useful because half an eye means that an animal can see half of an animal that wants to eat it and get out of the way, and it will eat the animal that only has a third of an eye or 49% of an eye instead because it hasn't got out of the way quick enough, and the animal that is eaten won't have babies because it is dead. And 1% of an eye is better than no eye.
And people who believe in God think God has put human beings on the earth because they think human beings are the best animal, but human beings are just an animal and they will evolve into another animal, and that animal will be cleverer and it will put human beings into a zoo, like we put chimpanzees and gorillas into a zoo. Or human beings will all catch a disease and die out or they will make too much pollution and kill themselves, and then there will only be insects in the world and they will be the best animal.
♥ ...a thing is interesting because of thinking about it and not because of being new.
♥ And I know I can do this because I went to London on my own, and because I solved the mystery of Who Killed Wellington? and I found my mother and I was brave and I wrote a book and that means I can do anything.