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The Red House by Mark Haddon

The Red House (2012)

by Mark Haddon

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1,015778,409 (3.16)54
Recently added byErina39, MissWordNerd, Glenduckie, private library, Rhiannon_900, taylormaddox, cougadvisor
  1. 10
    The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling (Anonymous user)
  2. 00
    This is Just Exactly Like You by Drew Perry (JGoto)
    JGoto: About a dysfunctional family, but written with humor.
  3. 00
    All Families are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland (SimoneA)
    SimoneA: Both books tell the story of a family with issues, from their different viewpoints. 'All Families' does it with lots of black humor, 'The Red House' with an interesting approach to the viewpoints.
  4. 01
    Deutschland by Martin Wagner (baystateRA)
    baystateRA: Both books have a tangle of reticent English family members misunderstanding each other while on holiday

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» See also 54 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
A domestic novel, beautifully done. Add an extra half star. Not quite anarchic enough for me - still love the Agent Z books the best.... ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | May 27, 2018 |
  mahallett | Nov 11, 2017 |
The Red House by Mark Haddon is a wonderful microcosm of two estranged American families brought together by a holiday in a rented house on the Welsh border, near Hay-on-Wye.

Though the reader must read actively to connect the story together between the interchanging narrators from one paragraph to the next, the narrative itself is like discordant, yet free-flowing snippets of recollection, intimate thought, and vibrant memory.

And while the tone of the characters’ personalities ring with a raw angst at the beginning of the novel, the reader is able to step back and take an honest look into a well-written mosaic that makes up the complicated nature of very real personalities and their fluctuating dynamic with one another.

From Richard’s stiff awkwardness towards his estranged and bitter sister, Angela, and his unintentional vanity and pride birthed from privilege and success to Angela’s religious prejudice and emotional absence especially towards her daughter, Daisy.

Louisa, Richard’s second wife must muster the courage to step out of her husband’s shadow and her daughter’s manipulation to not only find a new form of self-assertion, but the beginning of an authentic happiness.

Dominic, Angela’s “man-child” of a husband must rectify his pacified relationship with his family, discover his inner strength, and define his manhood by making a logical and moral choice.

To read the rest of my review, you can visit my blog, The Bibliotaphe's Closet:


Zara ( )
  ZaraD.Garcia-Alvarez | Jun 6, 2017 |
I loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time years ago and was hoping this one would be good too - not so much. The characters are all very dysfunctional and I couldn't relate to any of them, but that's not the worse part. I didn’t like the way it was written. There were 7 main characters and it constantly jumped around as to whose point of view you were reading which made it difficult to get into and follow. There would also be full paragraphs of random sentences and/or poetry just thrown in there that were more of a distraction than anything. Unfortunately, I don't recommend this one. If it hadn't been for my book club I never would have finished it. ( )
  lynnski723 | Dec 31, 2016 |
What a trying ordeal it was to wade through this book. The annoying italics to designate a conversation were unbearable and the characters unlikeable. It was really almost all I could manage not to fling this book across the room at times, but it being a library book I decided against it! ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
Haddon’s tone is flawless, so compassionate and detailed and precise that this novel beguiles without cloying, illuminates without demystifying. All happy families may be alike, but oh, how wonderful to witness the myriad unhappiness of the others, conjured by a virtuoso wordsmith.
If you want truly great literature set in an English country house, you still can’t beat Wodehouse’s Blandings books for deep-core contentment and unbridled comic zip. “The Red House,” on the other hand, reads as if it were written to silence those critics who damn Haddon with the faint praise of being too “readable.” Mission accomplished.
Shortly after their mother's death, wealthy doctor Richard invites his estranged sister and her family to accompany him on holiday in the Welsh countryside with his new wife and teenage stepdaughter. Angela convinces her husband and their three children to come on the premise that it's the best, or only, vacation they can afford, and so begins the novel's seven-day drama—each relative descending on the country manse. Haddon engages the reader with his intimate portrayals of realistic and knowable, though by and large not wholly likable, characters; and for a week, familial alliances are made and broken enough for a 100-years' war. The book's ambition is perhaps greater than the ends it achieves—although comfortably paced and plotted, the frenetic changes in narrator are often disorienting. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
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To Clare, with thanks to Mary Gawne-Cain
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Cooling towers and sewage farms.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385535775, Hardcover)

An dazzlingly inventive novel about modern family, from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The set-up of Mark Haddon's brilliant new novel is simple: Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. The stage is set for seven days of resentment and guilt, a staple of family gatherings the world over.

But because of Haddon's extraordinary narrative technique, the stories of these eight people are anything but simple. Told through the alternating viewpoints of each character, The Red House becomes a symphony of long-held grudges, fading dreams and rising hopes, tightly-guarded secrets and illicit desires, all adding up to a portrait of contemporary family life that is bittersweet, comic, and deeply felt. As we come to know each character they become profoundly real to us. We understand them, even as we come to realize they will never fully understand each other, which is the tragicomedy of every family.

The Red House is a literary tour-de-force that illuminates the puzzle of family in a profoundly empathetic manner -- a novel sure to entrance the millions of readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:50 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside, which results in a symphony of long-held grudges, fading dreams, and rising hopes.

» see all 10 descriptions

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