Chapter Summaries
Chapter 7

Christopher tells the reader that this is a mystery novel. Siobhan suggested he should writing something he would read himself, but he reads mostly science and math. He also does not like proper novels, which he finds difficult to understand. However, he does like murder mystery novels because they are puzzles that can be solved - and if it's a good puzzle, can be solved before the book ends. Siobhan also suggested he should begin with something that would grab people's attentions, which is why he started with the dog. Siobhan then added that people are usually the victims in murder mystery novels, which Christopher counters by saying that The Hound of the Baskervilles features two dead dogs. Siobhan responds that the main victim is a human, Sir Charles Baskerville. However, Christopher wants to write something real and doesn't know anybody who's been killed, except Mr. Paulson who died from a gliding accident and not murder. Further, dogs were sometimes better than humans, such as Steve from school.

Notes - Though Christopher later professes to not telling jokes, inadvertent humor often occurs due to his unique view of the world. The comparison between a dog and Steve is an example of this.

Chapter 11

The police arrive at the Shears home, a man and a woman. The policewoman leads Mrs. Shears away while the policeman talks with Christopher, trying to ascertain what happened. The questions are too many and too fast for Christopher, however, and he rolls back onto the lawn and starts groaning, which is like white noise used to block the outside world. The policeman grabs his arm to lift him up. Christopher does not like being touched, so he hits the policeman.

Notes - Christopher compares his thinking to a slicing machine in a bakery: this shows how the mind works by certain processes and his own mind processes at a different rate than other people.

Chapter 13

Christopher emphasizes that his book will not be funny. He uses a joke that his father likes and explains how its humor is drawn from playing with three different sets of meanings. For Christopher, having to deal with all three meanings at the same time hurts, like having three people talking to him at the same time.

Notes - Jokes are built on linguistic ambiguity, which Christopher's mind cannot properly process. Other examples of complex linguistic ambiguity also hurt Christopher, and he sometimes deems them "lies" since they are not straightforwardly true.

Chapter 17

The policeman stares at Christopher after being hit and decides to arrest him for assaulting a police officer. Christopher is calmed by this, as it's something he's heard police say in the media. The policeman asks Christopher to get into the back of the police car and radios his partner, Kate, to have someone else pick her up. On the drive, Christopher looks up at the Milky Way and observes that scientists have found the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang. When it finishes exploding, the stars will move in reverse and collapse into one another. Christopher believes humans will be extinct by then and, if not, they will be burned to death by this process.

Notes - Christopher's love of scientific theories are introduced here, as is his coldly clinical attitude towards humanity.

Cite this page:

Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime ".