The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon

I requested this book without knowing what it was about and ended up having to rerequest it a few times because eloans are so short and I barely have time to read nowadays. But I’m glad I did. The main character has a very memorable voice, and it was a unique way to gain some insight into how people with Asperger’s think.

1) If I don’t know what someone is saying, I ask them what they mean or I walk away.

#WDYM. Or maybe I should be walking away more.

2) I like dogs. You always know what a dog is thinking. It has four moods. Happy, sad, cross and concentrating. Also, dogs are faithful and they do not tell lies because they cannot talk.

This is why people love dogs. Simple and to the point. I guess cats are like this as well. You always know a cat hates you.

3) 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.

Numbering the chapters by prime numbers is a brilliant idea.

4) The word metaphor means carrying something from one place to another, and it comes from the Greek words meta (which means from one place to another) and ferein (which means to carry), and it is when you describe something by using a word for something that it isn’t. This means that the word metaphor is a metaphor.

This is possibly the greatest meta there is, and I’m not sure I get it.

5) When people tell you what to do, it is usually confusing and does not make sense.


6) I think people believe in heaven because they don’t like the idea of dying, because they want to carry on living and they don’t like the idea that other people will move into their house and put their things into the rubbish.

Succinct summary of my views on religion.

7) 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.

Yes. Sometimes you just don’t like something. Then you should say no. Because otherwise you’re just wasting everyone’s time.

8) But this is really silly because it is just stars, and you could join up the dots in any way you wanted, and you could make it look like a lady with an umbrella who is waving, or the coffeemaker which Mrs. Shears has, which is from Italy, with a handle and steam coming out, or like a dinosaur.

I’ve never tried to understand constellations because of this exact reason.

9) And if something is nearby, you can find it by moving in a spiral, walking clockwise and taking every right turn until you come back to a road you’ve already walked on, then taking the next left, then taking every right turn and so on.

I’m having trouble visualizing this, but seems like a valid strategy to use.

10) 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.

This is a scary thought, but also a reminder that this world is so much more than human beings.

I found out afterwards that this book has been adapted into a Broadway show. Maybe I’ll go watch it the next time I’m in NYC.

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