'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time' for Book Clubs

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon is a mystery told from the perspective of a teenager with a developmental disability.

What Is the Book About?

The narrator, Christopher John Francis Boone is a mathematical genius but struggles to understand human emotions. The novel is written as if Christopher is writing it for a class assignment. He numbers the chapters in prime numbers because that is what he likes. 

The story begins when Christopher finds a dead dog on the neighbor's lawn.

As Christopher works to figure out who killed the dog, you learn a lot about his family, past, and neighbors. It soon becomes clear that the dog's murder is not the only mystery worth solving in Christopher's life.

This story will draw you in, make you laugh and cause you to see the world through different eyes.

The novel entertains, but it also provides an avenue for empathizing with people with developmental disabilities. I highly recommend it for book clubs

Lead your book club or class discussion of this clever tale using these questions.
Spoiler Warning: These questions may hint at key elements in the plot, so be sure to finish the book before reading on.

10 Discussion Questions for Book Club

  1. Were you confused by Christopher's odd way of telling a story when you first began the book? Did that frustrate you or draw you into the novel?
  2. Did the story help you understand people with autism any better?
  3. Talk about the relationship between Christopher and his father. Do you think his father does a good job of dealing with his behavior?
  4. Do you sympathize with his father's actions, or do you think they were unforgivable?
  5. Talk about Christopher's relationship with his mother. How do the letters he finds help explain her actions?
  6. Is it easier for you to forgive his father or his mother? Why do you think it is so much easier for Christopher to trust his mother than his father? How does that reveal the way Christopher's mind is different?
  7. What do you think the illustrations added to the story?
  8. Did you enjoy Christopher's tangents?
  9. Was the novel believable? Were you satisfied with the ending?
  10. Rate this book on a scale of one to five.