OWL Magazine Korea

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” by Mark Haddon

The original title of the book written by Mark Haddon is “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.” Although it is written in English, the book is not too thick, and most of the words used are commonly encountered, making it a light and enjoyable read.

I came across this book during my time as a student in the English Literature department at Sungkyunkwan University. After reading Professor Kim Nan-do’s book, “Because It’s Painful, It’s Youth,” I took the opportunity to meet with some professors in the department to have a conversation. During one of these meetings, Professor Park Yoo-jung recommended this book to me.

“Sungkyunkwan University’s English Literature Department, a book recommended by Professor Park Yoo-jung”

It was the last semester before graduation, and time was passing by quickly. Balancing job preparation, attending classes, submitting assignments, and writing blog posts kept me constantly occupied. Nevertheless, despite the busy schedule, I managed to find time to meet with the professor.

Since Professor Park was not teaching undergraduate courses in the second semester, my visit as an undergraduate student seemed to bring a sense of freshness, and I fondly remember the enjoyable conversation we had. We talked about how I had been doing lately, among other things.

Towards the end of our meeting, Professor Park recommended a couple of books and allowed me to borrow them. This book, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time,” was my choice.

“A novel written from the perspective of a child with autism”

Regarding this book, Professor Park briefly explained:

  • “This book is written from the perspective of a child with autism and is quite interesting.”

The reason for choosing this book over others was its thinness. Despite it being the last semester before graduation, I was eager to fill my schedule with classes. Even attending UI/UX major classes, not directly related to my major, became a conscious choice. So, I opted for a thin book to minimize the workload.

“A growth novel of a child with autism”

The protagonist is portrayed as a boy with autism, who refrains from attempting conversations with strangers due to the perceived danger.

One morning, the boy discovers the neighbor’s dog dead with a pitchfork and decides to investigate how and who killed the dog. The novel unfolds as the boy, challenged by autism, gathers the courage to venture into the outside world, experiencing new things and growing in his own way.

Although the title suggests a mysterious murder of a dog in the night, this event serves as a catalyst for the boy’s growth. As the story progresses, this incident becomes a medium through which the boy discovers hidden narratives.

Ultimately, the novel can be summarized as a “growth novel of a boy.” However, what felt remarkable while reading the work was how the author could understand and depict the psychology of a child with autism so well.

“The Monty Hall Problem: A Probability Quiz”

The Monty Hall problem, a common theme in discussions about probability games, is also introduced in this book. The scenario is as follows:

In a quiz show, a man who has made it to the final round must choose one door out of three. Behind two doors, there are goats, and behind one door, there is a car. After the man makes his initial choice, the host opens one of the doors the man did not choose, revealing a goat. The host then asks the man if he wants to stick with his current choice or switch to the remaining unopened door.

To increase the probability of winning, it is advisable to switch the choice. When analyzing the possible outcomes, one can see that the probability rises to 66.7% by switching.

“A work composed of vocabulary and sentence structures that are not burdensome”

The book falls into the category of having straightforward sentence structures and vocabulary. Given that the protagonist is a boy with autism, the expressions used are not overly complex.

Therefore, it is a book that people encountering English literature for the first time can approach without feeling overwhelmed.

This book left a lasting impression on me as it was recommended by a professor. Moreover, for those venturing into reading original works in English, it is a suitable book due to its moderate difficulty.

“Curious Incident Of the Dog in the night-time By Mark Haddon”

  • ATOS Book Level: 5.4
  • Interest Level: Upper Grades (UG 9-12)
  • AR Points: 10.0
  • Word Count: 62,005
  • Check on YES24 Bookstore: Link to YES24