《The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time》《夜色中好奇的狗》
l 作者：Mark Haddon马克·海登 English novelist
best known for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003) He won the Whitbread Award, Guardian Prize, and a Commonwealth Writers Prize for his work
Christopher, a fifteen-year-old boy with an autism spectrum condition, lives with his father, who has told him that his mother, Judy, died two years ago. The boy discovers the dead body of the neighbour's dog, Wellington, speared by a garden fork. Mrs Shears, the dog's owner, calls the police, and Christopher comes under suspicion. When a policeman touches him, he hits the policeman, and is arrested, then released with a police caution. He decides to investigate the dog's death, despite his father's orders to stay out of other people's business. He is severely limited by his fears and difficulties when interpreting the world around him. Throughout his adventures, Christopher records his experiences in a book, which he calls a "murder mystery novel". During his investigation, Christopher meets people whom he has never before encountered, even though they live on the same street, including the elderly Mrs Alexander, who informs Christopher that his mother had an affair with Mr Shears and had been with him for a long time.
Christopher's father, Ed, discovers the book and confiscates it after a brief fight with the boy. While searching for the confiscated book, Christopher uncovers a trove of letters which his mother wrote to him, dated after her supposed death, which his father has also hidden. He is so shocked by his father lying about his mother's death that he is unable to move, curls up on the bed, vomits and groans for several hours until his father returns home. Ed realizes that Christopher has read the letters and cleans him up. He then confesses that he had indeed lied about Judy's death and also that it was he who killed Wellington, stating that it was a mistake resulting from his anger after a heated argument with Mrs Shears. Christopher, having lost all trust in his father and fearing that Ed might try to kill him since he had already killed the dog, decides to live with his mother and runs away. He remembers his mother's address from the letters and embarks on an adventurous trip to London, where his mother lives with Mr Shears.
After a long and event-filled journey, evading policemen and feeling ill from the overwhelmingly large amount of information and stimuli from the trains and crowds around him, he finally finds his way to his mother and Mr Shears's home, and waits outside until they arrive. Judy is delighted that Christopher has come to her; she is upset that Ed told Christopher that she was dead. Mr Shears does not want Christopher living with them and never did. Very soon after arriving, Christopher wants to return to Swindon in order to take his mathematics O-level. His mother leaves Mr Shears, their relationship having broken down because of their conflict about Christopher and Mr Shears's rejection of Christopher. Judy then moves into a rented room in Swindon. After an argument with Ed, she agrees to let Ed meet Christopher for daily brief visits. Christopher remains terrified of his father and makes repeated attempts to prevent him from talking. He hopes Ed will be imprisoned for killing Wellington, although his mother explains that for this to happen, Mrs Shears would have to press charges.
The story ends with Ed getting Christopher a Golden Retriever puppy, whom Christopher gets to name, and promising that he will rebuild trust with Christopher slowly, "no matter how long it takes". Christopher asserts that he will take further A-level exams and attend university. He completes his mathematics O-level with top grades despite having eaten and slept very little. Earlier in the story he talks about wanting to become an astronaut, but at the end he declares that his goal is to become a scientist. The book ends with Christopher optimistic about his future, having solved the mystery of the murdered dog, gone to London on his own, found his mother, written a book about his adventures, and achieved an A* in his O-level maths exam.
In a June 2003 interview with NPR's Terry Gross on her program Fresh Air, Haddon said about Christopher, "If he were diagnosed, he would be diagnosed as having Asperger's syndrome, which is a form of autism. I suppose you'd call it high-function autism in that he can function on, you know, a day-to-day basis, in a kind of rudimentary way. But he has a serious difficulty with life in that he really doesn't empathize with other human beings. He can't read their faces. He can't put himself in their shoes. And he can't understand anything more than the literal meaning of whatever's said to him, although I'm very careful in the book not to actually use the word 'Asperger's' or 'autism.' ... Because I don't want him to be labelled, and because, as with most people who have a disability, I don't think it's necessarily the most important thing about him... And as a good friend of mine said after reading the book, a friend who is himself a mathematician, it's not a novel about a boy who has Asperger's syndrome; it's a novel about a young mathematician who has some strange behavioural problems. And I think that's right."
Haddon added, in the conversation with Terry Gross, "I have to say honestly that I did more research about the London Underground and the inside of Swindon Railway Station, where some of the novel takes place, than I did about Asperger's syndrome. I gave him kind of nine or 10 rules that he would live his life by, and then I didn't read any more about Asperger's because I think there is no typical person who has Asperger's syndrome, and they're as large and diverse a group of people as any other group in society. And the important thing is that I did a lot of imagining, that I did a lot of putting myself into his shoes in trying to make him come alive as a human being rather than getting him right, whatever that might mean."
Haddon states on his website that, although he had read "a handful of newspaper and magazine articles about, or by, people with Asperger's and autism" in preparation for writing the book, he knows "very little" about Asperger's syndrome and that Christopher Boone is inspired by two different people. According to Haddon, none of these people can be labelled as having a disability. Haddon added that he "slightly regret[s]" that the term Asperger's syndrome appeared on the cover of his novel. In 2010, in an interview with The Independent, he was described as "now thoroughly irritated that the word Asperger's appeared on subsequent editions of the novel, because now everyone imagines that he is an expert and he keeps getting phone calls asking him to appear at lectures."
In a critical essay on the novel, Vivienne Muller quotes some praise by experts on disability theory: "In its presentation of Christopher's everyday experiences of the society in which he lives, the narrative offers a rich canvas of experiences for an ethnographic study of this particular cognitive condition, and one which places a positive spin on the syndrome. The reader in this instance acts as ethnographer, invited to see what Mark Osteen claims is a 'quality in autistic lives that is valuable in and of itself' (cited in [S.] Adams 2005, p.1). Along similar lines, [Alex] McClimens writes that Haddon's novel is 'an ethnographic delight' and that 'Haddon's achievement is to have written a novel that turns on the central character's difference without making that difference a stigmatising characteristic' (2005, p.24)." Muller adds that the novel "works with a strong sense of the disabled speaking subject, drawing readers into Christopher's cognitive/corporeal space through an incremental layering of his perspectives and reactions... The narrative also bristles with diagrams, maps, drawings, stories, texts that inform Christopher's lexicon for mapping meaning in a world of bewildering signs and sounds." She also admires such elements as "the digressive stream-of-connectedness-and-disconnectedness way in which Christopher writes and thinks; the obsessive focus on minutiae; his musings about why animals behave the way they do; his quasi philosophizing on death and life and the afterlife; his ambition to be an astronaut...”
In a survey of children's books which "teach about emotional life," Laura Jana wrote, "On the one hand, this is a story of how an undeniably quirky teenage boy clings to order, deals with a family crisis, and tries to make sense of the world as he sees it. But it also provides profound insight into a disorder—autism—that leaves those who have it struggling to perceive even the most basic of human emotions. In so doing, The Curious Incident leaves its readers with a greater appreciation of their own ability to feel, express, and interpret emotions. This mainstream literary success made its way to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for fiction at the same time it was being touted by experts in Asperger's syndrome and autism-spectrum disorder as an unrivaled fictional depiction of the inner workings of an autistic teenage boy.”
Christopher often comments on his inability to appreciate some metaphors and similes. He gives as an example a quote that he found in "a proper novel": "I am veined with iron, with silver and with streaks of common mud. I cannot contract into the firm fist which those clench who do not depend on stimulus." Haddon told Terry Gross, "Funnily enough, it's actually a quote from Virginia Woolf. It's Virginia Woolf on an off day, in the middle, I think, of The Waves. An author whom I love actually, but who sometimes got a little too carried away."
Family and Socirty
Socioability and Communication
Death and suffering
Math and Science
tone: ironic, matter-of-fact, sad, sometimes cynical
style: childish, pure, 杂糅
2) 爱德·勃恩（Ed Boone）克里斯多弗的父亲，在妻子外遇而分居后，独自扶养儿子二年，对儿子的调查活动很反感。
3) 茱蒂·勃恩（Judy Boone）克里斯多弗的母亲。克里斯多弗在书中叙述她在二年前死于癌症。
4) 兔比(Toby) 克里斯多弗的宠物鼠，后老死。
5) 威灵顿(Wellington) 席太太的黑色贵妇犬，被发现在邻居席太太家中因胸口被插入园艺用铁插而死。