The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Novel, Mystery by Mark Haddon
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Best known for his Border Trilogy, hailed in the San Francisco Chronicle as "an American classic to stand with the finest literary achievements of the century," Cormac McCarthy has written ten rich and often brutal novels, including the bestselling No Country for Old Men, and The Road. Profoundly dark, told in spare, searing prose, The Road is a post-apocalyptic masterpiece, one of the best books we've read this year, but in case you need a second (and expert) opinion, we asked Dennis Lehane, author of equally rich, occasionally bleak and brutal novels, to read it and give us his take. Read his glowing review below. --Daphne Durham

Guest Reviewer: Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane, master of the hard-boiled thriller, generated a cult following with his series about private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, wowed readers with the intense and gut-wrenching Mystic River, blew fans all away with the mind-bending Shutter Island, and switches gears with Coronado, his new collection of gritty short stories (and one play).

Cormac McCarthy sets his new novel, The Road, in a post-apocalyptic blight of gray skies that drizzle ash, a world in which all matter of wildlife is extinct, starvation is not only prevalent but nearly all-encompassing, and marauding bands of cannibals roam the environment with pieces of human flesh stuck between their teeth. If this sounds oppressive and dispiriting, it is. McCarthy may have just set to paper the definitive vision of the world after nuclear war, and in this recent age of relentless saber-rattling by the global powers, it's not much of a leap to feel his vision could be not far off the mark nor, sadly, right around the corner. Stealing across this horrific (and that's the only word for it) landscape are an unnamed man and his emaciated son, a boy probably around the age of ten. It is the love the father feels for his son, a love as deep and acute as his grief, that could surprise readers of McCarthy's previous work. McCarthy's Gnostic impressions of mankind have left very little place for love. In fact that greatest love affair in any of his novels, I would argue, occurs between the Billy Parham and the wolf in The Crossing. But here the love of a desperate father for his sickly son transcends all else. McCarthy has always written about the battle between light and darkness; the darkness usually comprises 99.9% of the world, while any illumination is the weak shaft thrown by a penlight running low on batteries. In The Road, those batteries are almost out--the entire world is, quite literally, dying--so the final affirmation of hope in the novel's closing pages is all the more shocking and maybe all the more enduring as the boy takes all of his father's (and McCarthy's) rage at the hopeless folly of man and lays it down, lifting up, in its place, the oddest of all things: faith. --Dennis Lehane

First Published


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Sehr emotionales Werk, welches eine düstere und zutiefst depressive Geschichte erzählt, in welcher Lichtblicke stets zu ersticken versucht werden. Sehr lohnenswert. PS: Die Hörbuch Variante wurde vom Synchronsprecher Robert DeNiro's, dessen eigentlicher Name mir gerade entfallen ist, gesprochen. Ebenfalls sehr lohnenswert.

0 Responses posted in October


Ein faszinierendes Buch. Es ist interessant -- und manchmal beklemmend -- dem Hauptdarsteller und seinen Gedankengängen zu folgen. Sein größter Wert liegt meines Erachtens darin, dass es gut helfen kann, sich in Autisten hinein zu versetzen.

0 Responses posted in July


Like most McCarthy novels, he writes a dark, tense, yet realistic representation of what life can be. In this case, in a apocalyptic America. A simple, yet beautiful read. Definitely a must read.

0 Responses posted in January


Very consequent and concentrated. Touching in parts, but still prosaic. It reads like a short story in long.

0 Responses posted in June


When I finished the book, I set it down and my first thought was "I just read a masterpiece."

0 Responses posted in December


Very well written book that touches on many topics and raises many ethical questions for the reader.

0 Responses posted in July


Ein Buch mit einer Handlung, die einfacher nicht sein könnte und dennoch so tiefgehend ist. Ein sehr sehr trauriges Buch, dessen Ende erahnt wird und dennoch schockiert. Begleitet einen Vater und seinen Sohn durch ein postapokalyptisches Land voll von Hunger, Schmerz und Gefahr - und trotz alledem einer großen Portion Hoffnung.

0 Responses posted in May
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