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The Red House by Mark Haddon

The Red House (2012)

by Mark Haddon

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1,0387812,140 (3.15)54
Recently added byCraveBooks, rena75, hansmunch
  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

English (80)  Dutch (2)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
An estranged brother and sister and their families get together for a week long vacation in a remote Welsh valley after their mother dies. Richard has re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter; Angela has a feckless husband, three children and the ghost of her deformed stillborn child. Told over seven days the narration is a stream of consciousness flowing from the minds of the eight people in the house, a technique that has left the story fragmented and disappointing. The draft should have been heavily edited and resulted in half the number of pages. Only read because of the fantastic cover with the blue willow pattern design, disappointed by the contents. ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | Mar 23, 2019 |
Hated it. Struggled all the way through it. Dysfunctional family, confusing to read. ( )
  rmarcin | Jan 22, 2019 |
Got to about p80 but this stream of consciousness novel with eight different characters was virtually unreadable as it rambled on and flitted about constantly, with loads of irrelevant lists and book snippets thrown in for good measure.
  AHouseOfBooks | Aug 27, 2018 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (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.

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