A bestselling modern classic—both poignant and funny—about a boy with autism who sets out to solve the murder of a neighbor's dog and discovers unexpected truths about himself and the world.
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Make room, Holden Caulfield: Christopher Boone is just the sort of complicated and convincing teen narrator who will break readers’ hearts for generations to come. The 15-year-old protagonist of Mark Haddon’s poignant novel puzzles over facial expressions, detests yellow and brown, and calms himself by counting prime numbers. It’s apparent that he falls somewhere on the autism spectrum, though his condition is never named—and it won’t stand in the way of Christopher’s search for the killer of his neighbor’s dog. What begins as a detective story transforms into a bittersweet meditation on innocence, marriage, and resilience.
Christopher Boone, the autistic 15-year-old narrator of this revelatory novel, relaxes by groaning and doing math problems in his head, eats red but not yellow or brown foods and screams when he is touched. Strange as he may seem, other people are far more of a conundrum to him, for he lacks the intuitive "theory of mind" by which most of us sense what's going on in other people's heads. When his neighbor's poodle is killed and Christopher is falsely accused of the crime, he decides that he will take a page from Sherlock Holmes (one of his favorite characters) and track down the killer. As the mystery leads him to the secrets of his parents' broken marriage and then into an odyssey to find his place in the world, he must fall back on deductive logic to navigate the emotional complexities of a social world that remains a closed book to him. In the hands of first-time novelist Haddon, Christopher is a fascinating case study and, above all, a sympathetic boy: not closed off, as the stereotype would have it, but too open overwhelmed by sensations, bereft of the filters through which normal people screen their surroundings. Christopher can only make sense of the chaos of stimuli by imposing arbitrary patterns ("4 yellow cars in a row made it a Black Day, which is a day when I don't speak to anyone and sit on my own reading books and don't eat my lunch and Take No Risks"). His literal-minded observations make for a kind of poetic sensibility and a poignant evocation of character. Though Christopher insists, "This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them," the novel brims with touching, ironic humor. The result is an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I read this book once, and the I was hooked, now I have read it 3 times. I suggest this book to thinkers, and people who like unique books too.
It's a limitless hard to follow at first but once you understand it's really a good book
This book does a great job of allowing you to view the world from a point of view that is, at the same time, very foreign and very sincere. The protagonist, who is Autistc, demonstrates a very logical view of the world. The book is both entertaining and touching. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who would like to better understand Autism and the enriched thought process which results from it.