The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Book Review

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time


I just finished reading this book. I had it on my office shelf for months now. But yesterday, after a painful day of debugging experiments, I took a break and started reading this book.

There are many things I liked about this book. For one, the entire book is constructed of simple statements like these. It’s like reading a children’s book. But with the words fuck and sex come up in the story. So, not a children’s book.

Secondly, the character is very honest. And simple. And the book makes it very clear. I like this about the book. There are no mysteries to keep you guessing. Everything is spelled out. I live in a complicated world and conduct complex experiments all day. So, my mind enjoyed the refreshing simplicity of this book. I wish I could think and write like this.

I believe clarity of thought is essential to living a stress-free life. And if your thoughts are clear, then that is conveyed in your writings. And that is good. Nobody likes confusion.

Sometimes when I run experiments, I make notes like this on my whiteboard. I ask myself why I’m running a particular experiment. Then I list out all the steps I need to take. And then I think of a control experiment. That is the most important part. Without a control, there is no point in running experiments.

The boy in this book worries about his math exam. And he wants to get an A on his math exam.

I remember the time when I was in India. When I was worried about my math exam. When I wanted to get an A on my exam.

Life was difficult. But simple. Because I had only one variable to worry about. One exam.

Now, life is easier. Because I have no exams to worry about.

But it’s more complicated. Because I have to consider more variables.

Earlier life was a finite problem. I had to solve one equation and get an answer.

Now life is an optimization problem.

And the variables fucking change a lot.


17 Responses to “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Book Review”

  1. Zach Wright November 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Genious post. I liked that book, too.

    • Saad Bhamla November 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

      Thanks Zach. I’m wondering if there are other books similar to this one – any recommendations?

      • Saad Bhamla November 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

        Do you have a blog @757e4337756b53dc5248ab472c015da1:disqus?

  2. Nirav Karani November 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Nice post! It’s a bit like the book – simple, yet quite profound. πŸ™‚

    • Saad Bhamla November 3, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      Thanks Nirav.

    • Saad Bhamla November 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

      I checked out your blog. Very thoughtful !

  3. Omkar Deshmukh November 4, 2012 at 1:46 am #

    I loved the book too :). Was it Chirag who suggested the book?

    • Saad Bhamla November 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

      I would think so – it’s his type:)
      I think he suggested Life of Pi. This one was suggested by someone else..

  4. Surbhi November 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    I read the book a couple of months ago. And found it pretty interesting. Loved the parts where the child explains his thought process, and steps to solve a problem.
    I like the way you alternate between the book and (your) life, and yet, manage to keep it extremely simple and clear.

    • Saad Bhamla November 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

      Surbhi.. long time no see. Hope things are going well. πŸ™‚

      • Surbhi November 6, 2012 at 9:26 am #

        Life has been hectic, in an interesting way. Hence, no updates for a while. I do check your blog regularly, though πŸ™‚ (I don’t like to subscribe to blogs. Rather, I go to my fav blogs when need something to stimulate me, and let myself be surprised by some new post.)

        • Saad Bhamla November 6, 2012 at 10:41 am #

          I noticed you were in Vietnam some time ago? Any plans of traveling to the US?
          Haha.. that may actually be smart – sometimes I just find my inbox full of blog updates..

          • Surbhi November 7, 2012 at 4:50 am #

            Went to Thailand and Vietnam for a week. Some US plans are indeed brewing up in the horizon. Will update you as and when something materializes. California will, for sure, be on my list. πŸ™‚

          • Saad Bhamla November 7, 2012 at 11:48 am #

            Ah. Excellent. Thailand and Vietnam both sound fun. I’m guessing you were there for work reasons ?

            Sure. Give me a heads up if you’re coming here πŸ™‚

  5. Test November 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    Test comment

  6. indreesh November 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    Ha ha! So true.. Multi- variable vs Single Variable πŸ˜€ Good comparison.