Chapter Numbering In Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

Josiah Nang-Bayi, MD
2 Min Read

The chapters in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon are numbered using an unconventional numerical sequence system.

Instead of being numbered consecutively from 1 to 233 for all the chapters, the chapters are numbered in several series of numbers, separated by gaps or breaks.

Specifically, the chapter numbering goes as follows:

Chapters 1 – 101 are numbered consecutively from 1 to 101.

Then there is a gap, and the next series of chapters picks up with:

Chapters 103 – 131 numbered consecutively from 103 to 131.

After another gap, it continues with:

Chapters 137 – 139 numbered 137 to 139.

Then one more gap before the final stretch of chapters numbered:

Chapters 179 – 233

So the numbering incorporates these distinct separated sequences, with the gaps between them, rather than straightforwardly numbering all 233 chapters consecutively.

This unconventional chapter numbering scheme is very much in keeping with the book’s broader style of disjunctive storytelling from the perspective of Christopher, the narrator with autism spectrum disorder.

The jumps and disruptions in the numerical sequencing reflect how Christopher’s mind processes information and experiences in a fragmented, non-linear way. It maps to his struggles with typical patterns and logic.

By eschewing a straightforward consecutive chapter numbering system, Haddon is able to reinforce the neurodivergent perspective and voice of the narrator in a subtle yet impactful way throughout the reading experience.

So while seemingly odd at first, the chapter numbering is a masterful artistic choice that completely aligns with and elevates the core themes and narrative style of this acclaimed novel.

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Josiah Nang-Bayi, MD is a medical doctor by profession, an author, a financial literacy and digital assets enthusiast, an entrepreneur and a growing philanthropist.
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