A Spot of Bother – Mark Haddon


Mark Haddon is an author, illustrator and screenwriter who has written fifteen books for children and won numerous prizes, including two BAFTAs. His novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was a bestseller around the world. It won more than seventeen literary awards, including the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the South Bank Show Book Award, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Mark Haddon’s first collection of poems, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, was published in 2005.

The book in one sentence: George is convinced that the lesion on his hip is cancerous, and he slowly goes insane while his wife continues to have an affair with his ex-colleague, his daughter planning her second wedding and his son dreading to bring his boyfriend to the nuptials.

Who would you recommend it to: People who like hidden meaning in the stories they read. I haven’t figured out the hidden meaning but I’m sure it’s there.

OK bits: I like the fact that it’s about everyday life. He writes about the things the characters do in their daily lives with lots of details and doesn’t gloss over the unpleasant bits of life, like going to the toilet.

Boring bits: It’s quite draggy because he writes so much.

Random review quote:

“Haddon’s style is a reader’s bliss. He writes seamless prose. The words are melted into meaning… Haddon’s gift is to make us look at ourselves when we think we’re looking away, being entertained” – Scotsman

Verdict: I pretty much bought this book on the basis of Haddon’s famous other book and I fell for the cover. I’m a sucker for cute, appealing covers. Since it was only RM12, it wasn’t too much wasted for a book I plan to donate soon. Besides, it wasn’t too bad a read since I managed to finish it and it is hardly the sort of book I would touch otherwise. It is good to read something out of the usual sort you usually do.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Josette
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 23:29:11

    Hi, I didn’t anyone who’s read this book! I was excited to see this book on my sis’ bookshelf. Well, after Curious Incident of the Dog, I was, after all, curious about Haddon’s other books.

    So…this book was extremely different from Curious Incident, that’s number 1. And yeah, I do agree with you on the boring bits. I can’t remember what I didn’t like as I read this around two years ago. But I do remember that I quite liked the Jamie character and I can’t forget the gay kissing scene at the wedding. That was unforgettable.

    Anyway, I reviewed the book here.

    nylusmilk: i think i told you before we have similar reading tastes! very hard to find, that. 🙂 i like the guy the daughter married – can’t recall his name now. 😳 haha, yes and what happened after… ahem. :mrgreen:


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