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A Spot of Bother (Vintage) by Mark Haddon

A Spot of Bother (Vintage) (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Mark Haddon

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,1271681,261 (3.54)205
Title:A Spot of Bother (Vintage)
Authors:Mark Haddon
Info:Vintage (2007), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Lit, Your library
Tags:2000s, Lit

Work details

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon (Author) (2006)

  1. 20
    Morgan's Passing by Anne Tyler (sturlington)
  2. 20
    The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (fyrefly98)
  3. 20
    A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby (SimoneA)
    SimoneA: The writing style of Mark Haddon in this book reminds me very much of Nick Hornby.
  4. 10
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (ehines)
    ehines: Both fine comic writers with the ability to make us sympathize with the most ridiculous characters without at all reducing the ridiculous quotient.
  5. 00
    A Bit of a Do by David Nobbs (sanddancer)
  6. 00
    Starting Over by Tony Parsons (SimoneA)
    SimoneA: Both books tell the story of a middle aged man who has to get to terms with himself and his situation in a dry and funny way.
  7. 00
    The Promise of Happiness by Justin Cartwright (bergs47)

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» See also 205 mentions

English (155)  German (5)  Norwegian (3)  French (2)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (168)
Showing 1-5 of 155 (next | show all)
Incredibly annoying characters I found impossible to care about. What an irritating book! ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Well written, but unfocused. Lacking in memorable characters. ( )
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this book. In fact after I read it I found myself missing the characters. They were so real!
George Hall, a 61 year old newly retired husband gets a little goofy Especially after coming upon his wife and lover having sex in HIS bed! But he left the scene and didn't confront her. Instead he try to keep the peace at least until his daughter marries her low life boyfriend in their garden. However, feelings have a. way of escaping and he creates scene after scene. But you can't help but feel for the poor guy! ( )
  camplakejewel | Sep 14, 2017 |
An ordinary family, coping with love, loss and a nervous breakdown. Told from multiple viewpoints, the story explores the build-up to a wedding and the problems faced in the relationships within and beyond the family of four who are at its core.

The insight into the decay of George's mental health is very touching. I also found Jamie's point of view intriguing, as a gay man who is unsure about whether his parents are comfortable with his sexuality. I was least convinced by Jean and Katie, the female characters. Katie just seems to be angry all the time, while Jean seems remarkably oblivious to the problems that her husband, George, is experiencing.

There are both gay and straight sex scenes in this book - but only the former are described in any detail. This makes the novel feel lop-sided to me. ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 14, 2017 |
Read Summer of 2014 - perfect beach read but would also be great in front of a fire on a rainy winter night ( )
  Overgaard | Jul 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 155 (next | show all)
“A Spot of Bother” isn’t nearly as audacious, and in other hands and other media, its plot elements wouldn’t amount to much, maybe a weepy nighttime soap or a lesser Steve Martin comedy.
But Haddon is too gifted and too ambitious to write a hacky second novel. In fact, he’s 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. Really, does any other art form do nuance so well, or the telling detail or the internal monologue?
added by sneuper | editNew York Times, David Kamp (Sep 17, 2006)
Just as he flawlessly mastered the voice of a boy with Asperger's in The Curious Incident, here Haddon has filled 390 pages with sharp and witty observations about family and daily life.
This a superb novel, and I was shocked when it didn't made the Man Booker longlist. There may be a perfectly obvious, simple reason for its omission. After reading it though, I can't think of an explanation that's good enough.
And that's what's so surprising about A Spot of Bother: how unsurprising it is. It's never less than pleasurable to read and there are good jokes and funny situations; it's just that it never tries to be much more than good jokes or funny situations.
It's not that this is a bad book - it isn't. It's amusing and brisk and charming. But readers could be forgiven for wanting - and expecting - more.
added by sneuper | editThe Guardian, Patrick Ness (Aug 26, 2006)

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haddon, MarkAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leskinen, TerhiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It began when George was trying on a black suit in Allders the week before Bob Green's funeral.
1. The human mind was not designed for sunbathing and light novels. Not on consecutive days at any rate. The human mind was designed for doing stuff, making spears, hunting antelope...

2. ...moths like flying hamsters...

3. ...graffiti only counted if it was spelt correctly

4. What they failed to teach you at school was that the whole business of being human just got messier and more complicated as you get older.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307278867, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:21 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

At the age of sixty-one, George Hall settles to a comfortable retirement. His tempestuous daughter, Katie, then announces that she is getting remarried to the deeply inappropriate Ray to her family's displeasure. Her mother, Jean, is disgusted with the huge preparation the wedding entails, which also disrupts her late-life affair with one of her husband's ex-colleagues. The seemingly neat and pleasant life of George and Jean's son, Jamie, disintegrates when he fails to invite his lover, Tony, to the dreaded nuptials.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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