WELCOME TO THE IU SOUTHEAST COMMON EXPERIENCE
An annual program designed to cultivate a common intellectual conversation across campus, to strengthen the sense of community at Southeast and in the region, to encourage open discussion, civil discourse, and critical thinking, and to enhance the reputation of Southeast as a regional center of learning excellence.
The common reading is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (2003). The book has been adapted to the stage by Simon Stephens and Marianne Elliott and will soon be a major film. It has been used in first year reading programs at Seton Hall, the University of South Carolina, California State Northridge, University of California San Diego, Providence College, the University of Toledo, Hiram College, Millersville University, Northern Arizona, the University of Houston, and others…
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing. Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher’s mind. And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon’s choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debuts in years: a comedy, a heartbreaker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read. (Barnes and Noble)
The book has been awarded the Whitebread Awards for Best Novel and Book of the Year and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Fiction Book.
Discussion of the Common Experience book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon (2003)
Jeffersonville Friday Book Club Discussion of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon (2003)