The Life of the Mind common book selection for the Class of 2009 is Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Haddon manages to bring us deep inside Christopher’s mind and situates us comfortably within his limited, severely logical point of view, to the extent that we begin to question the common sense and the erratic emotionalism of the normal citizens who surround him, as well as our own intuitions and habits of perception.
—Jay McInerney, New York Times
About the Book
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 improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.
Praise for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Haddon delivers a twist on the usual murder-mystery. The style is chatty and his use of long sentences with multiple conjunctions impart a key aspect of Christopher’s character and condition, such as the way he notices everything when he walks into a room and his obsessive, list-making nature.
The Curious Incident is at once gripping, touching and funny.
About the Author
He graduated from Oxford University in 1981, returning later to study for an M.Sc. in English Literature at Edinburgh University. He then undertook a variety of jobs, including work with children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. He also worked as an illustrator for magazines and a cartoonist for New Statesman, The Spectator, Private Eye, the Sunday Telegraph and The Guardian (for which he co-wrote a cartoon strip).