A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
Publisher: Vintage Books | 2007 (first published 2006) | 503 pages
Buy on Amazon
Mark Haddon’s second best-selling novel isn’t anything like his first. I enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time but I can’t say the same for A Spot of Bother. However, it’s an easy book to read because Haddon wrote in short sentences and small paragraphs. Plus very short chapters too.
The story is about George Hall’s and his family’s adventures. I say ‘adventures’ because the things happening to them sound like that. George is a retired guy and he’s in the middle of building his own studio in his garden so that he has his own space to draw and paint. He also has some lesion on his hip, which he thinks is cancerous and he also thinks he’s lost his marbles.
Then, his wife, Jean, is having an affair with George’s old friend from work, David. Sometimes she feels guilty about it all and feels bad betraying her husband. One day, David poured out his feelings to her and asked her to be with him forever. To leave George and be with David, that is. But Jean doesn’t think she’s ready to take such a huge, drastic leap.
Besides that, Katie, their daughter, is about to get married a second time. She already has a little son, Jacob, from her first marriage. This time, she’s going to marry Ray. Unfortunately, her parents and brother don’t think that he’s quite suitable for her. Also, Katie isn’t sure if she’s in love with him or not.
Finally, there’s Jamie, Katie’s brother. He’s a homosexual and he’s having trouble with his partner, Tony. Jamie is also trying to get his life back together, trying to rebuild the perfect life he created for himself. Anyway, things don’t always go to plan, do they?
Well, doesn’t it sound like a pretty exciting book? I find that things got more exciting after about 60% of the book. My favourite part of the book was when Jamie’s mother and sister greeted Tony after a very unexpected scene, which shocked family and friends.
Actually, most of the book is about George. Yeah, it’s quite pitiful for him. He admits he’s afraid of death and yet he doesn’t get a thorough medical check-up. His family’s too busy to take any notice. They took it for granted that he could take care of himself, like he always did.
I guess this book would be perfect to pick up to read if you’re having a particularly rough day. While reading, imagine you’re in the shoes of any one of the characters (except little Jacob, though), then perhaps you might feel a little bit better.
Other Bloggers’ Reviews: Bibliolatrist