A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon

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Synopsis

A Washington Post Best Book of the YearA Spot of Bother is Mark Haddon’s unforgettable follow-up to the internationally beloved bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. At sixty-one, George Hall is settling down to a comfortable retirement. When his tempestuous daughter, Katie, announces that she is getting married to the deeply inappropriate Ray, the Hall family is thrown into a tizzy. Unnoticed in the uproar, George discovers a sinister lesion on his hip, and quietly begins to lose his mind.As parents and children fall apart and come together, Haddon paints a disturbing yet amusing portrait of a dignified man trying to go insane politely.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Mark Haddon

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MARK HADDON is an author, illustrator and screenwriter who has written fifteen books for children and won two BAFTAs. His bestselling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was published in 2003. It won seventeen literary prizes, including the Whitbread Award. Mark Haddon lives in Oxford. MICHAEL ROSEN was born in 1946 in North London. One of the best-known figures in the children's book world, he is renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. As an author and by selecting other writers' works for anthologies he has been involved with over 140 books. ZADIE SMITH was born in London. Her novels include White Teeth, The Autograph Man and On Beauty. CARMEN CALLIL was born and educated in Melbourne, Australia and came to the UK in 1960. She is the author (with Colm Toibin) of The Modern Library: The 200 Best Novels in English Since 1950. TIM PARKS currently lives in Italy and is the author of novels, non-fiction and essays. BLAKE MORRISON is the author of two bestselling memoirs and is also a poet, critic, journalist and librettist.
 
Published August 14, 2007 by Vintage. 370 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Spot of Bother

Kirkus Reviews

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Their divorced daughter, Katie, announces her impending marriage to a man who might even be duller than George, but who provides security and emotional support for her son.

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The New York Times

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Mark Haddon’s eccentric, beguiling “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is one tough act to follow.

Sep 07 2006 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

The New York Times

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His first novel, published three years ago, was called “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” The new one is called “A Spot of Bother.” Neither book has anything to do with a plasticine man-dog duo propelled by stop-motion animation.

Sep 17 2006 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

The Guardian

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George, the retired hero of Mark Haddon's second novel, is in 'a spot of bother' because he doesn't believe in talking - 'Talking was, in George's opinion, overrated' - and because his wife is having an affair, two things, Haddon intimates, that are obviously related, but not in an obvious way.

Sep 10 2006 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

The Guardian

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A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon 390pp, Jonathan Cape, £17.99 Mark Haddon's first novel after the worldwide success of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a real oddity, but not at all in the way you might expect.

Aug 26 2006 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

Publishers Weekly

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Without trying to act out the characters, Keating clearly delineates each: George's wife (who is having an affair), his daughter (who is about to embark on another disastrous marriage), her fiance (whose cockney accent highlights class antagonisms) and his son (who fears bringing his male lover t...

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BC Books

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Or, in the case of Bother's protagonist, George Hall, deeply insane.

Nov 14 2006 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

Book Reporter

Writing in third person, but from the four perspectives of George, Jean, Katie and Jamie, Haddon deftly demonstrates the isolation and connection of each family member.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

AV Club

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The novel jumps into George's head the way Curious Incident jumped into Christopher's, and Haddon's perspective on anxiety attacks—their profundity while they're happening, the sense of unreality and ridiculousness when they retreat—is intelligent and evocative.

Sep 06 2006 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

Entertainment Weekly

Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is back, turning his crisp, clear, nattily British prose to the Hall family, a group of fragile psyches teetering on a variety of brinks in the days before daughter Katie's wedding.

Sep 01 2006 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

Suite 101

Lawrence's classic contains a very peculiar ending for an early 20th century novel.

Nov 04 2010 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

The Bookbag

Aside from George - nervous breakdowns get even my invertedly snobbish sympathy - I really didn't feel an investment of hope in a happy ending for any of these annoying people.

Oct 07 2010 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

Pajiba

Part of the gift of this writer is that he can make us laugh about it, but at it’s core it’s a comedy about a whole lot of things most of us don’t find very funny.

Aug 02 2009 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

About.com Bestsellers

Funny and perceptive, if not uplifting, Haddon's biggest accomplishment is writing something completely different from Curious Incident, and writing it well.ProsMark Haddon writes well from several different viewpoints.Short chapters & a third person look into several characters speeds the book a...

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Bookmarks Magazine

ISBN: 0385520514 NY Times Book Review 4.5 of 5 Stars "[Haddon is] so wondrously articulate, so rigorous in thinking through his characters’ mind-sets, that A Spot of Bother serves as a fine example of why novels exist.

Aug 22 2007 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

BookRack

>I am sure those who have read ‘The Curious Case of the dog at the night time’ by Mark Haddon must have added ‘A Spot of Bother’ by the author in their TBR list.

May 20 2011 | Read Full Review of A Spot of Bother

Reader Rating for A Spot of Bother
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