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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Summary


Here you will find a The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time summary (Mark Haddon's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.

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Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Summary Overview

In 1998, in the region of Swindon, England, we follow the story of a fifteen-year-old boy, Christopher John Francis Boone, who stumbles upon the corpse of Wellington, his neighbor's poodle. Driven to find the culprit behind the murder, his pursuit is both assisted and hindered by his mild autism. His quest lands him in police custody after an unfortunate encounter with an officer, but he is let off with a stern warning and an order from both the authorities and his father to cease his detective work. Undeterred, Christopher documents his investigation for a school project and proceeds to ignore his father's advice. A deeper story unravels as he finds out about affairs involving both his parents, his neighbors, and the deceased dog's owner, Mrs. Shears. His life takes a dramatic turn when he finds hidden letters from his supposed-to-be-dead mother, living in London with Mr. Shears. Overwhelmed by his father's betrayal and confession to being Wellington's murderer, Christopher loses trust and flees to his mother. In an arduous journey, Christopher overcomes his social anxieties and threats, nearly getting hit by a train in the process. His arrival shocks his mother, unaware that her letters were being withheld by Christopher's father. Living with his mother and Mr. Shears proves challenging, leading his mom to leave London, and they find a new home in Swindon. Christopher's father tries to mend their relationship with regular visits and a puppy to replace Christopher's dead rat, Toby. Proving his ability, Christopher excels in his A-Level math exam and looks ahead to taking more exams and attending a university in a different town. He gains confidence from solving Wellington's murder, finding his mother, and authoring the book we've just followed.

chapter 2

Seven minutes past midnight, the storyteller, Christopher John Francis Boone, stumbles upon his neighbor's poodle, Wellington, lifeless on her lawn with a garden fork plunged into its flank. The dog's snout, still warm to the touch, prompts Christopher's curiosity about Wellington's killer and the motive behind it.

chapter 3

Christopher often deviates from his tale to describe his struggles with interpreting facial emotions. Despite this, he's proficient in geography and mathematics, able to list all countries and their capitals, and know all prime numbers up to 7,057. He reminisces about his first encounter with Siobhan, eight years ago. She had asked him to decipher emotions from drawn faces. He only recognized the happy and sad ones, reflecting his feelings when he roams the neighborhood early in the morning and the sorrow he felt finding Wellington dead. The other emotions were beyond his comprehension.

chapter 5

We're back on Mrs. Shears's grassy yard, where Christopher lifts Wellington after pulling out the garden fork. Mrs. Shears emerges and shouts at Christopher to leave her dog alone. She continues to rant, regardless of him setting the dog down. Consequently, Christopher covers his ears and rolls into a fetal position on the lawn, attempting to mute out her screaming.

chapter 7

Christopher shares that he is penning his own detective novel, a project encouraged by Siobhan to give him a chance to create a tale he would love to read. Siobhan proposed the narrative's beginning should be captivating, influencing Christopher's choice to lead with the death of Wellington. However, another motive behind this decision was his struggle to rearrange events; for Christopher, the only possible sequence is the chronological order in which things happened.

chapter 11

Two cops show up at the site of the incident. At first, Christopher feels at ease with them around, but he soon starts to feel uneasy as one of the officers starts questioning him rapidly, almost as if accusing him of the crime. Christopher recoils into a fetal position once more, striking the officer when he attempts to get him up.

chapter 13

Christopher clarifies that his book will lack humor. He explains that humor, particularly in jokes, often hinges on the versatility of words, which can be interpreted in multiple ways. This idea bewilders Christopher and causes him distress. Consequently, he has decided not to include any jokes in his book.

chapter 17

Christopher is taken into custody for committing an attack. While being transported in the police vehicle, he finds solace in observing the Milky Way outside the car window. The dependable pattern of the stars and the consistent behaviour of the officer bring him a sense of relief.

chapter 19

Christopher delves into the pattern of identifying prime numbers, emphasizing their infinite nature. He likens these numbers to life: rational yet not entirely fathomable. Owing to his fondness for them, he's structured his book's chapters in line with prime numbers.

chapter 23

Christopher finds himself at a police station, methodically listing every item he removes from his pockets. Fascinated by the near-perfect cubic shape of his cell, he ponders if Mrs. Shears accused him of murdering Wellington.

chapter 29

Christopher grapples with understanding people due to their propensity to express themselves via facial cues, which lacks verbal communication. Additionally, he struggles with metaphors, as they intrinsically draw parallels between two unrelated entities.

chapter 31

Christopher's father appears at the train station, raising his hand with all fingers extended as a form of greeting. Christopher mirrors this action, letting their fingers lightly touch. Christopher shares that this is their unique way of saying hello since he doesn't enjoy hugs. He is then escorted by an officer to the detective who lets him go with a stern admonition.

chapter 37

Christopher clarifies his inability to lie by stating the difficulty he faces in choosing a non-existent event over a real one. His struggle to select one untruth from an endless pool of unreal events prevents him from lying. As a result, everything documented in his book is factual.

chapter 41

While en route home, Christopher attempts to express remorse to his dad for causing him to show up at the police station, but his dad avoids the subject. Once they're home, Christopher retreats to his bedroom. He heads to the kitchen for a nighttime drink at 2:07 a.m. and observes his dad, alone and crying, in the living room. Curious, Christopher inquires if his dad is mourning Wellington. After a prolonged silence, his father admits that he indeed is.

chapter 43

Christopher recalls the day Mother passed away two years prior. Upon returning from school, the house was deserted. Later, his father came home, made numerous phone calls to find Mother, and left for several hours. Upon his return, he informed Christopher that Mother was in the hospital due to a cardiac issue, and visiting wasn't possible. Christopher chose to create a get-well card for her, and Father agreed to deliver it the following day.

chapter 47

Following Wellington's demise, Christopher sees four red cars during his bus trip to school, categorizing the day as Good. He shares his unique system of assessing his day based on the quantity and color of cars he spots en route to school. For instance, three red cars symbolize a Good Day and five make it a Super Good Day. However, four yellow cars indicate a Black Day, during which he chooses to remain silent and dine alone. This peculiar system bewilders the school psychologist, Mr. Jeavons, given Christopher's otherwise logical thinking. Christopher, however, values routine, irrespective of its rationality, as it ensures his comfort. He uses his father's habit of wearing trousers before socks as an example of such a routine. The day counts as a Good Day, inspiring him to resume his quest to find Wellington's murderer.

chapter 53

Christopher reflects on the time his Mother passed away, two weeks after her hospital admission. Despite not visiting her at the hospital, his Father reassured him that she received lots of love and kept his card by her bed before her sudden heart attack. Christopher found her passing shocking as she was only thirty-eight and led a healthy, active lifestyle. On the night of her demise, Mrs. Shears comforted Father by holding him and cooking dinner. Following the meal, Christopher won a game of Scrabble against her.

chapter 59

Resuming his inquiry into Wellington's demise, Christopher approaches Mrs. Shears. He tells her he's not responsible for Wellington's death, but she shuts the door on him. As he retreats, he notices Mrs. Shears observing him from behind her frosted glass entrance. He waits until she's gone, then secretly enters her garden by leaping over the wall. He discovers a locked shed there and sees, through the window, the garden fork used to kill Wellington. He deduces that the killer must be acquainted with Mrs. Shears to use her garden fork. However, Mrs. Shears finds him in her garden and threatens to inform the police. Unfazed, Christopher returns home, satisfied with his newfound clue.

chapter 61

Christopher recalls a clergyman named Reverend Peters who described heaven as a place unlike our world. Christopher, however, is not a believer in heaven. He speculates that heaven might exist beyond a black hole, but contemplates that for the deceased to reach there, launching into space using a rocket would be necessary.

chapter 67

Motivated by a successful day, Christopher creates a neighborhood map and begins investigating locals about the crime. Talking to strangers makes him nervous, so he grips his Swiss Army knife tightly as he questions Mr. Thompson, who denies being at home on the night of the incident. The occupant of Number 44 can't offer any clues. At number forty-three, the resident jokes about young-looking policemen, which upsets Christopher, causing him to leave. He avoids Number 38 due to fear of its inhabitants. Mrs. Alexander, an older neighbor at Number 39, can't shed light on the crime but offers tea and biscuits, which Christopher declines as he suspects she may alert the police, and he leaves. Christopher ponders on potential motives for killing Wellington. He believes someone might harm a dog out of hatred, insanity, or a desire to distress the owner. He can't think of anyone who despised Wellington or anyone insane. Yet, he knows most killers are familiar with their victims and reasons that the only person wishing to hurt Mrs. Shears could be Mr. Shears. Mr. Shears left about two years ago and never returned. After Christopher's mother passed, Mrs. Shears would often visit, cooking for Christopher and his father as she was also lonely. She would sometimes even spend the night. Christopher is unsure why Mr. Shears left his wife, but he theorizes that if Mr. Shears didn't wish to live with Mrs. Shears, he might hold a grudge against her. He speculates that Mr. Shears could have targeted Wellington to upset her. Moving forward, Christopher intends to learn more about Mr. Shears.

chapter 71

Christopher views his classmates as intellectually inferior. He understands the politically correct term is “special needs,” but finds it nonsensical, given everyone has unique needs. For instance, Siobhan needs highly magnified glasses to see, while Mrs. Peters relies on a beige hearing aid to hear. Christopher aims to differentiate himself from his classmates by achieving an A grade on his A-level math exam, a feat no one in his school has managed. Following the A-level math exam, he intends to conquer even more challenging math and physics exams, leveraging his scores for college admission in a different town.

chapter 73

Christopher recounts the intense quarrels between his parents that were so tumultuous he feared they would part ways. The root of their disputes, he observed, was the strain of looking after him and managing his conduct issues. He remembers how his issues would often instigate anger between his mother and father. His mother would express that dealing with Christopher was pushing her towards an untimely demise. Christopher notes that many of his issues have dissipated with time, as maturity has enabled him to make his own choices.

chapter 79

Returning home, Christopher finds his father has prepared dinner, ensuring none of the foods on his plate touch each other. His father questions his whereabouts, to which Christopher responds vaguely, not fully revealing the truth. His father tells him Mrs. Shears reported his intrusion into her garden. Christopher admits his suspicion that Mr. Shears is Wellington's killer, which incites his father's rage. He commands Christopher to never speak of Mr. Shears again and to cease his investigation into Wellington's death. After a pause, Christopher assures his father he will obey.

chapter 83

Christopher dreams of being a space explorer. He believes this career would suit him due to his intellectual capabilities, his comprehension of machinery, and his comfort in solitary, confined spaces. Additionally, there are no yellow or brown objects on spaceships and he would be enveloped by stars. This would indeed fulfill his deepest wish.

chapter 89

Christopher shares his "completed" book with Siobhan at school, but he is troubled as he can't continue his investigation and the book is without an ending. He worries about the possibility of crossing paths with Wellington's killer. He also discloses to Siobhan his father's instruction to never bring up Mr. Shears’s name at home. Siobhan suggests that this might be due to Mr. Shears's departure from Mrs. Shears, who was once a friend of theirs, but Christopher informs her that Mrs. Shears is no longer considered a friend either. On the ensuing day, Christopher spots four yellow cars while traveling to school, which he deems as a Black Day. He isolates himself during lunch and spends the day reading. The same happens the next day. To prevent another Black Day on the third day, he keeps his eyes closed on the journey to school.

chapter 97

Christopher spots five red cars in a row while on his way to school five days later, which he interprets as a sign of a Super Good Day. He anticipates something extraordinary is about to occur. After school, he ventures to the local shop to purchase some sweets and unexpectedly bumps into Mrs. Alexander, a resident of number thirty-nine. She queries him about his abrupt departure the last time they met, when he left without taking any biscuits. Christopher admits his fear of her potentially reporting him to the police for snooping around. He leaves the shop and pets Mrs. Alexander's dog that's tied up nearby. It dawns on him that his Father had only prohibited discussing Mr. Shears inside their house. Consequently, he inquires about Mr. Shears from Mrs. Alexander. She subtly hints that Christopher is aware of why his Father harbors dislike for Mr. Shears. Upon Christopher's query if Mr. Shears was responsible for his mother's demise, Mrs. Alexander is taken aback to discover that his mother is no longer alive and reassures Christopher that Mr. Shears didn't kill her. Christopher further probes her initial statement and Mrs. Alexander discloses that Mr. Shears and Christopher's mother were involved in an extramarital affair. This is why Christopher's father bears animosity towards Mr. Shears. She cautions him against mentioning Mr. Shears around his father and solicits a promise from Christopher to keep their discussion a secret. With this revelation, Christopher heads home.

chapter 101

Christopher shares Mr. Jeavon's perception of him finding solace in math due to its often clear-cut solutions, contrasting with life's complexity. However, Christopher counters this view, citing the "Monty Hall problem" as an example of mathematical complexity. This problem originated from a 1990 query sent by a reader to Marilyn vos Savant, a Parade magazine columnist renowned for her exceptional IQ, regarding a game-show strategy. The game involves selecting one of three doors, two concealing goats and the other a car. After an initial selection, the host reveals a goat behind one of the remaining doors, offering the player an option to switch their choice. Savant's advice was to always switch, which led to a backlash from the scientific community who claimed she was incorrect, although mathematics ultimately validated her response. Christopher uses this to illustrate that intuition can sometimes lead us astray and numbers, like life, may not always be as straightforward as they seem.

chapter 103

Christopher comes back to find his dad in conversation with Rhodri, his colleague. His dad inquires about his day, and Christopher tells a little fib about interacting with Mrs. Alexander's dog. Rhodri challenges him to a multiplication problem, 251 times 864, to which Christopher accurately responds: 216,864. For dinner, Christopher's dad prepares Gobi Aloo Sag, a dish that Christopher tints red with food coloring before eating. Following Siobhan's guidance, Christopher decides to integrate descriptions into his book. He steps outside to the garden where he observes the sky. He likens the appearance of the clouds to fish scales and sand dunes. He spots a large, slow-moving cloud which he imagines could be an alien spaceship. He speculates that if aliens do exist, they would likely be quite different from us, possibly even composed of air, similar to clouds.

chapter 107

Christopher relates the story of his top pick, The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the tale, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson work to unravel the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville. Sir Charles's death appears to be linked to a monstrous, ethereal hound that haunts his family since it allegedly killed their predecessor, Hugo. Holmes discovers that the family's neighbor, Stapleton, engineered the illusion of the hound to murder Sir Charles and claim their wealth. Stapleton does this by bringing a large dog from London, cloaking it with a luminescent paint to make it look supernatural, and setting it upon Sir Charles. The detective duo kills the dog, pursues Stapleton, and he meets his end in a swamp. Christopher's fondness for The Hound of the Baskervilles stems from its detective genre featuring numerous clues and misleading elements, known as red herrings. These false leads misguide the reader into expecting a certain plot twist, only for the narrative to veer in a different direction. Christopher sees himself in Holmes due to his ability to concentrate solely on his tasks and his knack for noticing details that others overlook.

chapter 109

Christopher continues penning his novel and takes the latest portion to school to share with Siobhan. After perusing it, Siobhan chats with Christopher about his exchange with Mrs. Alexander. Christopher reassures her, stating he doesn't harbor any distress over the affair as his mother is no longer alive and Mr. Shears has moved away. He believes it is illogical to mourn something that has ceased to exist.

chapter 113

Christopher compares his memory to a DVD player that can rewind to specific past instances. He brings up an event from his childhood; a family trip to a Cornwall beach on July 4th, 1992. He narrates his mother sunbathing and then swimming in the chilly water. He decides against swimming and instead, wades into the water with his pants rolled up. When his mother vanishes in the water, he panics thinking she's been attacked by a shark but she reappears, calming him down with a hand gesture. Christopher explains that he uses his memory to recognize people and handle challenging situations. For instance, recalling previous experiences allows him to respond appropriately when someone has a seizure at school. He notes that unlike others, his mental images only contain real events, with no room for imagination. For instance, his mother could imagine a different life where she married someone else, but he couldn't.

chapter 127

Christopher gets home from school before his dad, places his belongings, including his book, on the kitchen table and sips a raspberry milkshake while enjoying an episode of Blue Planet. When his dad arrives, he finds Christopher's book in the kitchen. He questions Christopher, in a subdued tone, about his chat with Mrs. Alexander, which takes Christopher by surprise. Confirming it, Christopher's dad suddenly grips him tightly, scaring him and inciting him to strike back. He blacks out momentarily and wakes up with a painful head and a bloodied hand. His father's shirt is ripped, there's a visible scratch on his neck, and he's clutching Christopher's book. His dad, after a brief pause, discards the book in the outside trashcan. On returning, he locks the back door and conceals the key in a china pot.

chapter 131

Christopher shares his dislike for the hues of yellow and brown. Despite Mr. Forbes' opinion that disliking colors is senseless, Siobhan argues that it's natural for individuals to have preferred colors. Drawing parallels, Christopher relates his disdain for particular colors to the random decisions people make every day. He believes that without making choices, life would be stagnant.

chapter 137

Father seeks to reconcile with Christopher after hitting him by arranging a trip to Twycross Zoo. He articulates his deep affection for Christopher at the zoo, explaining that his anger stemmed from concern for his son's safety. Christopher recalls the numerous times his father has cared for him, such as rescuing him from the police station and preparing his meals. For Christopher, love is equal to lending a hand in times of trouble and being honest. As a stand-in for a hug, they engage in a gentle hand press.

chapter 139

Christopher talks about pictures from 1917 that seemingly reveal fairies' existence. These were referred to as "The Case of the Cottingley Fairies" and even got the endorsement of Sherlock Holmes' creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. However, the reality was that the fairies were mere cutouts, a fact confessed by the photographers in 1981. Christopher also introduces Occam's razor principle, which says "no more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary." In Christopher's context, it suggests that killers usually know their victims, fairies aren't real, and communicating with the departed isn't possible.

chapter 149

Siobhan, noticing Christopher's bruised face at school, inquires about it. Christopher narrates his altercation with his father, leaving Siobhan somewhat relieved as Christopher can't recall if his dad actually hit him. Once home from school and before his father's return, Christopher goes on a mission to retrieve his book. He fetches the garden key from the china pot but doesn't find his book in the trash. Suspecting his father might have stashed it somewhere else, he scours the house, ultimately finding it in a shirt box under a toolbox in his father's bedroom closet. While elated that his book wasn't discarded, Christopher frets that his father might discover his snooping. His father returns home unexpectedly, making Christopher hastily restore everything to its original state. He glimpses a letter addressed to him amongst several others in the shirt box. Hastily squirreling away one letter, he puts back his book and stealthily retreats to his room. During dinner, his father starts assembling shelves in the living room, giving Christopher a chance to peruse the letter in solitude. He's stunned to find out it's from his mother, detailing her life as a factory secretary and her new residence in London with a man named Roger. She mentions her unrequited letters to Christopher and reaffirms her love for him. The circumstances described perplex Christopher since his mother never had such a job or lived in London. The letter, although undated, bears a postmark "16th of October 1997," a year and a half post his mother's demise. Although thrilled with this fresh enigma, Christopher decides to refrain from jumping to premature conclusions. He stashes away the letter and heads downstairs to watch television.

chapter 151

Christopher interprets unsolved scientific puzzles as mysteries waiting for answers. He believes that the enigma of ghosts is simply due to our lack of scientific understanding, which will eventually be revealed. He refers to the fluctuating frog population in his school's pond. Yet, he points out that a group of researchers found a pattern, suggesting the frog population changes in predictable cycles that only seem random. Christopher wraps up by stating that complex issues can adhere to simple principles and that certain species could extinct solely due to numerical reasons.

chapter 157

In the absence of his father who's busy draining a flooded basement, Christopher seizes the opportunity to invade his room. His curiosity is piqued by a stack of 43 letters, all addressed to him, penned in the similar handwriting. He opens the first, and a memory of his mother, revolving around a wooden train set she had gifted him one Christmas, unfolds. His meticulous nature is highlighted as he used to create schedules for all the train routes. However, the mistakes in spelling within the letter, such as "woodden" and "timetabel," grab his attention. The letter concludes with the signature, "Love, Your Mum." The succeeding letter provides a detailed account of why his mother abandoned the family. A vivid incident from a Christmas shopping spree is recalled, where Christopher experienced a breakdown amid a packed store. His attempts to evade the overwhelming crowd led to a chaotic scene, including him knocking mixers off a shelf, wetting his pants, and incessantly screaming. Their journey home was on foot, as his mother knew he'd refuse to board a crowded bus. This incident intensified the friction between his parents, his mother seeking solace in Roger, who didn't love his wife, Eileen, anymore, and had extended an invitation for her to leave her husband for him. In a heated argument during dinner, Christopher's mother was injured, resulting in her toes being fractured by a cutting board he had thrown. The aftermath of this incident saw her bound to the hospital, unable to walk for a month. During this period, she noticed Christopher's behavior around his father was more at ease, leading to her conclusion that their lives would be better without her. She subsequently moved to London with Roger. Her decision was met with resentment from Christopher's father, who banned her from contacting or visiting Christopher. The letter ends with a plea for Christopher to correspond with her. The following letters give glimpses into her life post-abandonment, including her employment as a secretary in a real estate firm and inquiries about whether he received her gift. The fourth letter narrates a dentist visit with Christopher. However, the realization that his mother's alleged heart attack was a fabrication and his father had deceived him causes Christopher to feel sick. He blacks out, waking up to a dark room, traces of his vomit around him. His father discovers him in this state, his voice sounding unfamiliarly frail, and the sight of the letters triggers tears. In a rare instance, Christopher doesn't recoil from his father's touch as he is guided to the bathtub.

chapter 163

Christopher reflects on a task given to him by his first school teacher, Julie. She presented him with a Smarties candy tube and asked him to guess what was inside. After correctly guessing Smarties, he was surprised to find a small red pencil instead. When asked what he thought his parents would guess was in the tube, he replied with 'a little red pencil'. This led Julie to explain to his parents that Christopher would struggle to comprehend different perspectives. Now older, Christopher no longer struggles in these situations, viewing them as intriguing puzzles to crack. He shares an experiment he saw on a television show called 'How the Mind Works'. It showed that when reading, people only focus on a small area of text, while their brain fills in the rest based on assumptions. Christopher asserts that this is proof our mind functions like a complex computer. He suggests that even emotions are simply images in our minds, predicting what may occur in the future or envisioning alternative outcomes to past events. The nature of these images, be it happy or sad, dictates our emotional response.

chapter 167

Following a bath, Christopher's father dries him and tucks him into bed. His father expresses regret for deceiving him about his mother and withholding her letters. He then discloses killing Wellington, the dog, explaining it was a result of his emotional turmoil after Christopher's mother left and a recent spat with Mrs. Shears. After the revelation, Christopher, frightened, shoves his father and his father leaves the room, asking him to sleep and promising to discuss it in the morning. Christopher, however, decides he can no longer trust his father. He fears that his father's capacity to kill Wellington might extend to harming him too. At 1:20 a.m., Christopher quietly descends downstairs armed with his Swiss Army knife. He finds his father asleep on the living room sofa, then he takes his favorite food box from the kitchen and sneaks off into the garden. Hidden behind the garden shed, he enjoys two clementines and a Milkybar while pondering his next move.

chapter 173

Christopher has a view of the Orion constellation from behind his shed. Although many see it as a hunter wielding a club, Christopher argues that the 21 stars can form endless shapes, including a dinosaur. He firmly dismisses the hunter theory, stating that Orion is merely a constellation of stars situated billions of miles away.

chapter 179

Christopher spends the night in the garden and hides from his Father in the morning. With nowhere else to go, Christopher thinks of living with Mrs. Shears, but she's not home. Unable to live with Siobhan, Uncle Terry, or Mrs. Alexander, he decides to embark on a journey to London to find his Mother. The thought of travelling alone terrifies him, yet it's less horrifying than returning home or living in the garden. Spotting a rusty pan by Mrs. Shears's house, Christopher is reminded of his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. The sight leaves him disheartened as he thinks about the vast distances he would have to travel as an astronaut compared to his current fear of travelling just a hundred miles to London. Christopher approaches Mrs. Alexander to request her to take care of Toby, his pet, while he's away in London. He reveals his Father's deceit about his Mother's demise and his guilt in Wellington's death. Despite her attempt to invite him in, mentioning a call to his Father makes Christopher panic, and he rushes back home. Gathering some clothes, food, and his math books into his schoolbag, he spots Father's phone and wallet on the kitchen counter. Christopher deduces that Father forgot these items, taking his opportunity to take Father's bank card, the pin of which Father had once shared with him. Holding Toby, Christopher heads to school, planning to inquire about the train station's location from Siobhan. As he walks further from home, his fear of his Father decreases, but his fear of being alone intensifies. Upon spotting Father's van at school, Christopher experiences a wave of nausea. He calms himself by doing number cubes and counting his breaths. Instead of asking Siobhan, he decides to ask a stranger for directions. Following her instructions, he tries to keep up with a bus but fails. After some wandering and spotting a railway sign, he formulates a plan to find the station by following a clockwise spiral path around the area. With this method, he finds the train station.

chapter 181

Christopher details his necessity to remember every aspect of his surroundings. For familiar places, he only has to observe the differences since his previous visit. In unfamiliar settings, comprehending his environment can make his mind stop working, akin to a computer malfunction. Unlike most people who briefly look at their environment before proceeding, Christopher meticulously records things. In a rural field, while others might simply acknowledge the presence of cows, Christopher would count them, note their colors and locations. He believes his proficiency in math and logic stems from his meticulous attention to detail.

chapter 191

In the station's lobby, Christopher begins to feel unwell due to the densely packed, foul-smelling underpass ahead. Pushing through the tunnel, he's overwhelmed by the multitude of signs advertising a variety of items and services. To soothe his nerves, he sits outside a café and mentally solves a game known as “Conway’s Soldiers,” which involves moving colored pieces over each other on an infinitely expanding chessboard. His deep concentration attracts the attention of a law enforcement officer, who questions why Christopher has been at the café for an extensive period. Christopher reveals he is traveling to meet his mother in London. The officer inquires if he has a ticket or the funds to purchase one. To this, Christopher replies that while he doesn't have either, his father has provided him with an ATM card for his journey. The officer guides him to a cash machine where he withdraws fifty pounds, then directs him to the ticket booth. Having purchased his single-trip ticket to London, Christopher must once again navigate the underpass. In his second traverse through the underpass, he visualizes a vast red line leading him to the train, marking his steps aloud with a "left, right, left, right." He imagines that the people he inadvertently collides with are "Guarding Demons" from a fictional video game titled “Train to London,” and he maneuvers around them. At last, he arrives at the train and steps onboard.

chapter 193

Christopher enjoyed creating schedules for his toy trains as well as himself. He shares his unique perspective on time, comparing it to physical space. In space, you can place an object and either remember where it is or trace a path back to it. The object remains in that spot. Time, however, isn't as fixed. The connection between events in time can shift; for instance, if one were to travel at nearly light speed, they might return to find their friends and family have passed away, while they've barely aged. Being lost in a desert means you're still somewhere, but being lost in time is akin to being nowhere. This is why Christopher finds comfort in schedules; they prevent him from being lost in time.

chapter 197

The crowded train triggers Christopher's memory of a panicked car ride where he jumped out of a moving vehicle, injuring his head. Suddenly, the policeman from before appears, announcing his father is searching for him and he's there to take him back. However, the train starts to move, forcing the police officer to remain until the next station. Christopher gazes out the train window, becoming dizzy as he contemplates the extensive train tracks and the countless people who laid them. In his ignorance of the train's facilities, he soils his pants. The policeman instructs him to clean up, but he discovers a mess in the bathroom that upsets him. Once clean, he spots two shelves opposite the restroom, evoking memories of a comforting cupboard at his house. He wedges himself into a shelf and occupies his time with math problems. As the train decelerates, he hears the policeman searching for him, but keeps still until the train restarts.

chapter 199

Christopher reflects on the irrationality of people's belief in God, attributing it to a lack of understanding that improbable events can occur randomly. He highlights the trio of requirements for life to exist: Duplication, Variation, and Transferability. He states that humans are merely animals who have benefitted from a fortunate evolutionary process. He speculates that in the future, a species may evolve to surpass human intelligence, or an epidemic could wipe out humanity, thus leading to another species becoming dominant.

chapter 211

Christopher keeps track of the train's journey by the interval between stops. At the next halt, spotting a cop, he exits the train and enters an overwhelming station. He visualizes a red line and trails it to the station's end. Despite being warned by a man that a policeman is searching for him, Christopher perseveres. Overwhelmed by a multitude of signs, he uses his hands as a tube to focus on one at a time. He heads towards an "Information" sign and inquires from a shopkeeper if he's in London, which she affirms. She directs him to take the subway to reach his mother's address. Seeking refuge in a photo booth in the subway, Christopher observes people buying tickets and accessing the station. Gathering his courage, he purchases his own ticket and heads towards his platform. As the station fills with people and trains continue to arrive and depart, he feels unwell and frozen on a bench. He yearns for his home but is unable to return as his father is Wellington's killer.

chapter 223

Christopher finds himself staring at a promotional poster for Malaysia as he stays immobile in the train station. He questions the necessity of vacations, arguing that one can constantly uncover new experiences in their own surroundings. To substantiate his point, he explains the phenomenon of creating varying musical notes by filling glasses with different volumes of water and running a finger along their rim.

chapter 227

Christopher remains in a daze for five hours at the train station before noticing his missing pet rat, Toby, amidst other rodents on the tracks. He chases Toby, only to be rescued from an oncoming train by a man who reprimands him for his dangerous actions. A woman offers help, but Christopher warns her off with his Swiss Army knife. The pair leave and board a train, leaving Christopher alone. Christopher eventually boards a train after eight others have passed and disembarks at Willesden Junction. He purchases a guidebook from a local shop to direct him to his mother’s abode. Upon reaching, he finds no one home and waits. At almost midnight, his mother returns, accompanied by Mr. Shears. Christopher recounts his perilous trip from Swindon, rebuffing his mother’s attempt for a hug and opting for a hand touch instead. Back in the apartment, his mother runs a bath for him and interrogates him on his lack of communication. Christopher uncovers his father’s deceit about her death and hiding her letters. A policeman arrives due to his father’s report of Christopher’s disappearance. Given a choice, Christopher decides to stay with his mother, causing the officer to leave. He falls asleep on a makeshift bed only to be woken by his father’s loud argument with his mother and Mr. Shears. His father barges into his room, only to find Christopher armed with his knife. Despite his father’s apology and attempt for a hand touch, Christopher rejects him. The policeman returns and escorts his father out, allowing Christopher to return to sleep.

chapter 229

Christopher has a dream where a contagious virus wipes out most of humanity. It's transmitted even by looking at an infected person, including on TV. The rapid spread leaves only those like Christopher, who avoid eye contact, alive. The dream offers him freedom to roam without fear of being touched or questioned. He can drive carelessly without repercussions. Eventually, he returns to his dad's empty house in Swindon. He cooks Gobi Aloo Sag with red dye, enjoys a solar system video, plays video games, and sleeps. Waking up from this dream, he feels content.

chapter 233

Christopher wakes up in his mom's apartment, where she and her boyfriend, Mr. Shears, disagree about his stay. Mother quits her job to look after Christopher. She tries taking him shopping, but he gets scared and they return home. He expresses his need to return to Swindon for his A-level math test, but his mother is unsure. Unable to sleep, Christopher walks outside at 2 a.m., causing his mother to panic and demand he never leave alone again. Soon, Mother loses her job due to her absence and Christopher insists on going back to Swindon for his test. He tries predicting the day using a car color system, which fails. Mother tries to distract him with a trip to watch planes at Heathrow airport and informs him his test has been postponed, causing him to react angrily. Each night, Mother and Mr. Shears fight. To block out their arguments, Christopher uses white noise from a radio. One night, an intoxicated Mr. Shears wakes him up, accusing him of indifference towards others. Before he can continue, Mother forces him out. The following day, Mother and Christopher depart for Swindon in Mr. Shears's car. Mother admits they had to leave London to avoid someone getting hurt. In Swindon, they go to Father's house. Mother and Father argue, with Father eventually moving out for a few weeks. Christopher remains fixated on his postponed exam, likening the disappointment to touching a hot radiator. Mother takes Christopher to school where Siobhan reveals his test is still on the headmistress's desk. They plan to arrange for Reverend Peters to oversee the test. Christopher feels both excited and fatigued. During the exam, he struggles with the answers, leading to frustration. To calm himself, he counts prime numbers before rushing through the test. The next day, he takes the second part of the exam. That evening, Mr. Shears angrily discards Mother's belongings on the lawn and drives away. After another day, Christopher completes the exam. Father visits and asks about the test. Mother encourages Christopher to answer. The following week, Father requests that Mother move out. She finds work at a garden center and seeks treatment for depression. They move into a small, unsatisfactory house where Christopher spends afternoons at Father's due to Mother's late work hours. Christopher's pet, Toby, dies, and he buries him in a plant pot as they have no garden. Father tries to restore Christopher's trust by gifting him a puppy, Sandy. Sandy stays at Father's due to lack of space in their new home. Christopher finds out he secured an A grade on his A-level. He begins to feel comfortable spending nights at Father's house with Sandy and starts preparing for his next A-levels. Christopher envisions a bright future with A grades in Further Math and A-level Physics, attending university, living in a decent apartment with Sandy and pursuing a career in science. He knows he can achieve this as he's managed to travel to London solo, solve Wellington's murder, find his mother, and write a book, proving to himself that he can do anything.

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