Christopher is 15 and lives in Swindon with his father. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. He is obsessed with maths, science and Sherlock Holmes but finds it hard to understand other people.
When he discovers a dead dog on a neighbour’s lawn he decides to solve the mystery and write a detective thriller about it. As in all good detective stories, however, the more he unearths, the deeper the mystery gets – for both Christopher and the rest of his family.
#85 Australia’s Top 100 2016
“Haddon is to be congratulated for imagining a new kind of hero, for the humbling instruction this warm and often funny novel offers and for showing that the best lives are lived where difference is cherished” Carol Ann Duffy, Daily Telegraph
“The clash between Christopher’s view of the world and the way it looks to the rest of us makes this an extraordinarily moving, often blackly funny read. It is hard to think of anyone who would not be moved and delighted by this book, so the decision to publish it simultaneously for older children and adults is certainly well-founded” – Jill Slotover, Financial Times
“Brilliantly inventive, full of dazzling set-pieces, unbearably sad, yet also skilfully dodging any encounters with sentimentality, this isn’t simply the most original novel I’ve read in years . . . It’s also one of the best” The Times
“A stroke of genius, as the advantages of having a naive, literal-minded boy in the driving seat are manifold . . . We do learn what it might feel like to have Asperger’s Syndrome” David Newnham, TES
“The book gave me that rare, greedy feeling of: this is so good I want to read it all at once but I mustn’t or it will be over too soon” Kate Kellaway, Observer
“It’s pretty much flawless . . . Haddon stays compassionate to all his characters, but not once does his story descend into treacly pathos or easy tears. This is a high ambition fully achieved” Catherine Shoard, Evening Standard
“Supremely well-written, funny and oddly affecting” Daily Telegraph
“Exceptional by any standards . . . When we look at the world through Christopher’s eyes we see it more clearly and understand ourselves better. What more could you want of a book?” The Sunday Telegraph
“Exceptional by any standards. Haddon sticks rigidly to the limits imposed by autism without sacrificing literary viability. When we look at the world through Christopher’s eyes we see it more clearly and understand ourselves better. What more could you want of a book?” Dinah Hall, Sunday Telegraph
“Mark Haddon has produced a well-executed, unusual mystery.” GQ