Author: Mark Haddon (English)
First published: 2003
The dog was lying on the grass, dead. It had a garden fork sticking out on his chest. So the dog was being killed. The dog, Wellington, was Mrs. Shearsí. She was a friend a lived at the opposite site of the road. Who had killed him and why?
My name is Christopher John Francis Boone.
He just knows the emotions J and L.
Other emotions like , †I donít understand.
I like dogs, because they have just 4 moods: happy, cross, sad and concentrating.
I was hugging the dog till Mrs. Shearsí came screaming running to me. ďWhat is fuckís name have you done to my dog?Ē she yelled.
It scared me.
I out the dog down put my hands over my ears and closed my eyes and rolled forward till I was hunched up with my forehead pressed onto the grass. The grass was wet and cold, it was nice.
This is a murder mystery novel.
Siobhan said I should writ something I would want to red myself. But the only things I read are books about science and maths.
But I do like murder novels as well. Because itís like a puzzle youíll have to figure out who had committed the crime.
I began with the dog because it is something that had happened to me and it grabs peoples attention.
The police arrived. I like police because you know what they meant to be doing.
The policeman was asking me questions. But he was asking them too many and too quickly. So I was rolling back to the grass. The policeman hold of my arm and lifted me on my feet. I donít like when people are touching me. And this is when I hit him.
This will not be a funny book. That is because I canít tell jokes. I donít understand them.
The policeman said: ďI am arresting you for assaulting a police officer.Ē
I had to go with the police car to the police station.
I could see the Milky way.
Chapters in a book are usually given the cardinal numbers(1,2,3 etc.)
But the chapters in this book are prime numbers.
Prime numbers are numbers that are just numbers that arenít answers to any multiplies.
In the police station I had to empty my pockets.
It was nice in the police cell. It was a perfect cube. I wondered whether Mrs. Shears had told the police that I had killed Wellington. And whether the police found out that she had lied. Because telling lies about people is Slander.
People are confusing
Reason 1: People do a lot of talking without using words.
Reason 2: People often talk using metaphors.
1:12 pm, Father arrived at the police station.
1:28, Father came in, he held up his right hand and spread his fingers out in a fan and we made our fingers an tombs touch each other. We do this, because I donít like people hugging me so this is our way of doing that.
I was going to get a caution because I hit the policeman, and thatís wrong. Also I told that I didnít kill Wellington.
I do not tell lies. Itís because I canít tell lies. So everything is true what has been written here.
Mother told me it was because Iím a good person.
A lie is when you say something happened which didnít happen. People tell lies all the time.
I told Father that I wanted to find out who killed Wellington. But Father want me to stay out of other peopleís business. He was cross and say that† I should leave it.
Mother died 2 years ago.
Father said one day that she was in hospital. So I made her a get-well-soon card. Father said he would take it in the next day.
It was a good day because I saw 4 red cars in a row.
4 red cars in a row is a good day
3 red cars in a row is a quite good day
5 red cars in a row is a super good day
4 yellow cars in a row is a black day, which is a day I donít speak to anyone.
I like things to be in a nice order and logical. I am not clever I just noticing how thing were and that wasnít clever.
I want to become an astronaut.
Because it was a good day I decided I would find out who killed Wellington. Siobhan we were meant to be writing stories today. So that is when I started writing this.
Mother died 2 weeks later.
I had not been into hospital to see her.
Father said she died of a heart attack and it wasnít expected.
Mrs. Shears came over and cooked supper for us.
She says to my dad: ďCome on, Ed. Weíre going to get through this.Ē
I was going to find out who had killed Wellington even though Father said to stay out of other peoples business.
This because I do not always do what I am told.
And this is because when people tell you what to do itís usually confusing and it doesnít make sense.
I went to Mrs. Shearsí house that evening. ďI didnít kill WellingtonĒ I said. Mrs. Shears doesnít wanted to talk to me and closed the door.
I went to the garden of Mrs. Shears and saw the garden fork in the shed. So the person who had killed Wellington knew Mrs. Shears. Or it was her herself. But that didnít make sense.
Mrs. Shears came out of her house and was very angry with me. So I went home.
Mother didnít go to heaven because heaven doesnít exist.
People believe in heaven because theyíre afraid of dying.
Mother was cremated but I didnít go to the funeral.
Talking to strangers is not something I usually do. This is because of Stranger Danger, what they tell us at school. So I always have my Swiss Army Knife in my pocket. I donít like strangers because I donít like people I have never met before.
But I had to do it because I wanted to find out who had killed Wellington.
Mr. Thompson lives next to Mrs. Shears. I ask him if he knew who had killed Wellington. He doesnít who Wellington is so he didnít do it.
Number 42 didnít answer the door.
Number 44 was a black lady. She knew who Wellington was but she hadnít seen anything suspicious on the night wellington had been killed. Than I asked her I she knew of anyone who wanted to make Mrs. Shears sad. She told me to ask my Father about this.
I went to number 43, Mr. Wise answered. He thought I was a policeman when I asked. And he laughed at me so I walked away.
Number 39, Mrs. Alexander. She doesnít know either who killed Wellington.
I made a Chain of Reasoning. You will kill a dog because: 1 you hated the dog. 2 you were mad, 3 you want to make Mrs. Shears upset. No one hated or was mad Wellington so it is probably a stranger. Most of the time murders are committed by someone who knew the victim. Wellington was most likely have to be murdered by someone who knew him. And I knew only one person who wanted didnít like Mrs. Shears and that was Mr. Shears. So he was my prime suspect. Two years ago Mr. Shears had left Mrs. Shears. I donít know why.
Next month Iím going to have my A level in Maths. No one has ever taken an A level at our school. After that I'm going to take A level Further Maths an Physics. And then I go to university. I will earn a lot of money when I finished and Father and I will go live somewhere, where a university is.
I used to think Mother and Father might get divorced. They had arguments all the time. This was because of the stress of looking after someone with Behavioral Problems like me.
When I came home I asked Father what he knew about Mr. Shears. And Father shouted: ďI will not have that man's name mentioned in my house.Ē I asked why and Father said that man is evil.
I have to stop my detective work immediately. I had to promise.
I make a good astronaut, because I like to be alone and I won't be home sick.
I told Siobhan I couldn't go on with my book because I had to stop doing detective work. Because it was a black day ( 4 yellow cars in a row)I didn't eat and speak. The day after it was a black day again so I didn't look at cars on the way to school because there were 2 black days in a row so I was allowed to do that.
I did go one with my book because of 5 red cars in a row. I talked with Mrs. Alexander. I asked her about Mr. Shears. She understood why Father thought he was an evil man buts he said she couldn't tell me. I asked whether Mr. Shears had killed Mother. But he didn't. I asked her whether it was because of Mr. Shears Mother had to go into hospital.
Mrs. Alexander was going to tell me something I wasn't allowed to tell to Father. She told me Mother and Mr. Shears were very good friends before her dead and they were doing sex.
So that is why Father thinks Mr. Shears is an evil man. So that was the reason of Mr. Shears leaving Mrs. Shears.
And I went home.
I like maths because it solves problems. And I like The Monty Hall Problem.
I went to the garden. Siobhan told me to add descriptions to the book. So I describe the garden. But it wasn't very interesting or different.
The Hound of Baskervilles is my favorite book. It is a Sherlock Holmes book. It is a detective story just like mine.
The next day I talked with Siobhan about the book and about Mother having a affair with Mr. Shears. Siobhan said I should come if I felt said about all this. But I don't feel sad because Mother is dead and Mr. Shears isn't around anymore. So I would feel sad about something that doesn't exist.
I have a good memory. It is like a film. I can press Rewind and Fast Forward and pause. If people ask me if I can tell what my mother was like I just rewind to different scenes and say what she was like in those scenes. I can also search, so I know if I met people before. And this is how I know to act in difficult situations when I don't know what to do.
When I got home from school I put this book on the table. And when Father got home he found it and asked me what it was. I told him that it was the book that I was writing. He knew now that I had talked to Mrs. Alexander. He was angry with me because I promised to stay out of other ones business. I told him I was just chatting with Mrs. Alexander. And not investigating. Father grabbed me and I don't like it when people grab me. So I hit him again and again. Father threw me against the wall. And he got himself a can of beer.
I don't like the colors yellow and brown. Some people think it is silly but Siobhan says everyone has favorite colors. Just like you like some food more than other.
Father was sorry for hitting me. We went to the Twycross Zoo.
And during lunch Father told me he didn't mean it to be so angry with me. And he told me to stay out of trouble. I held up my left hand and spread my fingers out in a fan and we made our fingers and thumbs touch each other.
I like Sherlock Holmes but I don't like the author because he believed in supernatural. Sometimes people want to be stupid and they don not want to know the truth. Occam's razor is true. It means: No more thing should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary. Like the supernatural. Which means that a murder victim is usually killed by someone known to them and you can't talk to someone who's dead.
I talked to Siobhan about the fight with Father. And she said that it wasn't OK if he hit me again in the face or hair. When I got home I looked for my book what Father had took away from me. I looked outside in the dustbin but it wasn't there. I detected every where. Then I decided to do some detecting in Fathers room but I wouldn't mess things up. I looked in the clothes cupboard. On the bottom of the cupboard was an old cardboard box. I opened the box and saw my book was in it. I didn't know what to do. If I took the book father would know I had been messing in his room. But I was happy he didn't threw it away. Father was coming home so I had to think fast. I decided I would leave the book where it was because I reasoned that Father wasn't going to throw it away if he had put it into the shirt box and I could carry one writing in another book that I would keep really secret and then, maybe later, he might change his mind and let me have the first book. And I could copy it into the new one. And I remembered most of the things and otherwise I could look in the old one when Father wasn't in. And that's when I saw the envelop...
It was addressed to me. And it had Mothers handwriting on it. There were a lot of envelops in the box. I hide the envelop under my mattress. Then I walked downstairs. After super I read the letter.
It was from Mother. She told that she was sorry for not writing so long. And she hoped that I wasn't angry anymore for leaving. She moved together with Roger into a new flat in London.
I was confused because because Mother had never lived in London. The letter was from 16-10-97. 18 moths after Mother died. Now there were two mysteries to solve.
Lots of things are mysteries. That doesn't mean there isn't a answer to them. It 's just that scientists haven't found an answer yet.
after six day I could go back to Father's room. I carried on reading the letters. There were 43 of them. In the first letter:
She got a new cooker and fridge. So the house was feeling more like home. IF she looks at pictures of me she feels sad.
In the second letter:
She explains why she left. She is not a very good mother. She is not like father that patient. And that was when she started to spend lots of time with Roger. He was the only person she could really talk to. Than Roger told her he and Eileen weren't in love anymore. They both felt lonely so they had a lot in common. And when Mother and I had an argument she decided to live with Roger. She meant to say goodbye but Father wouldn't let her. She never meant to hurt me. She hopes I write soon or call sometime.
The third letter:
Mother has a job. And she has a nice colleague. She included a present with the letter. It's a kind of puzzle and you have to make get the two pieces apart from each other.
The fourth letter:
Mother got 2 molars out. And it hurt like crazy. Then I stopped reading. I felt sick. Mother wasn't dead. She didn't had a heart attack. She had been alive all the time. I felt giddy and my stomach hurt. I was sick and all the sick was on the bed. Then I don;t know what happened anymore because there's a gab in my memory.
Father came in and he saw that I read the letters. He cried. He didn't mean to.
He touched me because I had to go into the bathroom. But I didn't hit him.
In the past I didn't understand that about people having minds. Now not anymore because it is like a puzzle. And if it's a puzzle there's a way of solving it.
I didn't talk to Father when he asked me things. I doubled 2s in my head because that makes me feel calm.
Father tells me from now on he is going to be honest with me. Because he doesn't want to hide things for me anymore, like he did by telling me not that Mother is still alive. He tells me he killed Wellington.
I wondered if it was a joke. He explained: When Mother left he and Eileen, Mrs. Shears, got along really well and he thought that She would move in soon. But she wouldn't. She said something that weren't very nice. And they hurt. And She chucked me out of the house after an fight. And that's when he killed Wellington because Father thought she cared more for the dog than for us.
I had to get out of the house. Father killed Wellington what meant he could kill me. I can't trust him anymore. When Father was asleep and I sneaked out
of the house. I went to the shed and hide me there.
The stars looked like Orion. And you could see a dinosaur in it or like a hunter with a club and a bow and a arrow.
I didn't sleep very much that night. Father looked for me but didn't find me in the shed. When father drove away with his van I knew I was save. I decided to go live with Mrs. Shears, because she wasn't a stranger. And I stayed at her house before. And she wouldn't tell me to go away because I knew now who had killed Wellington and in that way she knew I was a friend. And she would understand that I couldn't live with father anymore. She didn't answered the door when I knocked. I had to work out what to do next. Then I thought about going to live with Mother. But going somewhere on my own was frighting. But it was my only options and I could go by train. Because I know all about trains and timetables. I needed money If I wanted to go to London. I got Father's cashpoint card. I knew the number because Father had told me. I went to school, but Father's van was there so I had to find out my self where the train station was. I asked a stranger, which was very scary. And I just have to follow the road and I would take me tot he train station. I went into the train station.
I see everything that is why I don't like new places. I notice everything and that makes my head hurt. That is why I'm good at chess maths and logic. Because most people are almost blind and they don't see most things and there is lots of capacity in there head what isn't filled .
I sat at the train station. And a policeman asked me if I were alright. He asked me when my trains was. I didn't know. He asked me if I had an train ticket. I hadn't and he took me to the locket. But first I had to get some money. So I got money from the cashpoint machine. I got a single to London. I went to Platform 1 and got into the train.
I like timetables. I make them for myself for what I'll have to do all day.
They make sure you don;t get lost in time.
There were lots of people on the train, I didn't like that.
The policeman came after me in the train. He told me that Father was on the police station. I told him I didn't want to live with him but with Mother because he killed Wellington. I went to the toilet and after that I hided in a shelve. No one could see me like this.
People believe in God because the world is very complicated.
I wondered whether I should leave the train. Because I had just stopped at London. And I was scared because if the train went any where else it would be somewhere where I didn't know anybody. I got of the train. And a man told me someone was looking for me. The man was going to get the policeman so I carried on walking. At the information desk I asked how to get to 451c Chapter Road, London NW2 5NG( Mother's address.) I Had to take the tube to Willesden Junction. I got downstairs and took the Bakerloo Line.
I followed the signs and bought a ticket. It was scary there. I just wanted to go to sleep and go home. I sweated and felt sick. But there was nothing to do except to wait and to hurt.
Another description about a sign in the station about Malaysia. There were orang-utans on.
I kept my eyes closed the whole time. After 4 minutes my tube arrived. When I got off at Willesden Junction I bought a map and I search for 451c Chapter Road, London NW2 5NG. I can read maps very well so it wasn't hard to find Mother's address. I rang the doorbell but no one answered so I sat down. A lady came into the garden. It was Mother. Together with Mr. Shears. I said: ďYou weren't so I waited for youĒ Mother shouted my name a couple of times and hold me. I screamed. She was sorry she forgot.
Roger says: ďwhat is he doing here, that means Ed's here. (Father) I told mother Father was home , he killed Wellington with a garden fork and I'm frightened of him. Mother put me into the bath. She asks why I never wrote. I told her father had told me she was dead. That evening a policeman came. He asked me if I had ran away. I told him I did. And explained why. I said I wanted to stay with Mother. She said that was OK. Later Father came, he was yelling at Mother. Father came upstairs. I didn't want to talk to him. Mother said It will all be OK and I went back to sleep.
I had one of my favorite dreams that night. In this dream nearly every one on earth is dead. This time it's because of an computer virus. And it spreads really quickly.
Mother and Mr. Shears had an argument next morning about me. Mother called work and took Compassionate Leave.
She bought some clothes for me. I said that I should go back home. Because I had to do my a level maths. But I don;t want to see Father.
I couldn't sleep that night. So I walked out site. Mother came after me screaming and was very cross with me. She made me promise I never did that again. Mother calls school and I was going to take my A level Maths next year.
The next morning Mother packed clothes of mine and we borrowed Mr. Shears car. We're going back home. I fell asleep during the trip.
Asked Mother if I was going to do my maths a level the next day. But Mother said I didn't. Mr. Shears came to get his car that day and gave Mother a bag with her stuff. Mrs. Shears saw all this. And said that he finally dumped her too. Mother took me to school and Siobhan told me I was allowed to do my maths A level anyway. So I did.
Father came over. He said he was very proud of me for doing my Maths a level. Mother and I moved out of the house. And we got a small apartment. I didn't like it because the walls were brown. I finished the puzzle Mother gave me with that letter. I had to talk 5 minutes with Father. He said he would do everything in the world to get my trust back. Even if it was going to take years. He got me a present. It was a dog, a golden retriever. It made me feel J.
I got an A grade in my A level maths. So I now can do my A level further Maths.
I solved the mystery of Who killed Wellington? I found my Mother and I was brave and I wrote this book. And that means I can do anything.
In the book Christopher tries to investigate who murdered Wellington, the neighbor's dog. So he tries to solve the curious incident.
The story takes place in Swindon and in London.
The story takes place around 1999
Yes it is chronological but there are chapters in the book what don't have anything to do with the story.
The main characters are Christopher and Father
The main character is Christopher Boone. He is fifteen years old and has Asperger's Syndrome; a form of autism which is a psychiatric disorder. He lives together with his father in a town called Swindon. His main concern is to find out who killed Mrs Shears dog Wellington. His mother died of a heart-attack, at least that was what Christopher's father told him. Later in the story she turns out to still be alive, which is shocking for Christopher because this means his father lied to him. He had a good relationship with his father until he found out that he lied about his mother's death. He also has a very good relation with his teacher Siobhan. He trusts her and she helps him to write this book.
It was a school assignment of Siobhan. And this is something that happened to Christopher what he wanted to tell about.
This book is just for joy. Maybe if you really want to do something you can reach your goal. It addresses Asperger. How hard it is to life with that. No just that persons but also the people around that person.
I liked it a lot. It was easy to read. I like the way Christopher is thinking it is weird to see someone really can't stand it if there is someone touching him. I can;t understand that. So it is fun to read about it.
The parts like Super good day when you see 4 red cars in a row are funny. And the part that he finds out his Mother isn't dead was very surprising.
I learned who people with autism think. Even though I don;t think every person with autism thinks this way. But I really think there are people who understand how Christopher is feeling.
I think with writing this report altogether I spend 20 hours doing it. But I don't know for sure. Because in the beginning I read like a chapter a day. So I really don't remember it all.
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