generated by

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Spot Of Bother by Mark Haddon

I love books that defy traditional reviews where the reader describes the plot points without giving away spoilers, and then handily sums up with an opinion that may include reader defined stars or thumbs or turkey necks or whatever. Which is just one of the reasons why I loved A Spot Of Bother by Mark Haddon so much. I could write a synopsis of the plot here, but truthfully, that would just spoil some of the fun. Instead I'll just include the basics:

A Spot Of Bother concerns George Hall, his wife Jean, his daughter Katie, her son Jacob, her fiance Ray, and George's son Jamie. When George discovers he has what appears to be a lesion on his side, he's convinced it's a cancerous tumor, that he is going to die, and the rest of the book deals with what happens to George as a result of his ill-fated discovery. There is also a wedding that further complicates the lives of these people as they kind of muck around life as they know it.

There are parts of this book that are flat out hilarious, and just when you're about to wipe the tears of laughter from your eyes, something else happens that drives home the vulnerability of one of the characters to such a degree that those tears might not be from laughter after all.

George Hall probably resembles everyone's father to some degree. He is strong; he's like a reliable anchor that keeps the boat from drifting too far from its mooring. He may not have a clue what the right thing is to say in certain situations, but he's there and knowing that alone makes us feel secure. Jean Ball, George's wife and mother to Katie and Jamie, is a whole lot more complicated than anyone realizes. She's always there too, like a rock. Only in her case her strength doesn't always come across as anything more than negative or accusatory. When one or both of these mainstays of the family's backbone commits the unexpected... well, families have been known to fall apart at the seams. Whether they recover or not usually depends upon the flexibility of the two people sharing a symbolic King Of The Hill presence.

There really is not any way for me to review the book more than that without getting into some long explanations since so much of the behavior of these people is dependent upon what someone else did before them. So I'll just wind it up by saying that A Spot Of Bother has now become one of my favorite books and I know I will be reading it again soon. It was that good.

I read this book for the Readers In Thongs Weight Loss Book Challenge.

The book weighs 1 pound 3 ounces



Wow, you've got so many things on this site it's hard to know what to read! But I like it! Very interesting, amusing, insightful, and fun stuff.

Come visit me sometime as well, although my blog is amazingly tame compared to your cornucopia of literary delights.

Manky said...

Thanks for your visit and comment to my blog. I liked your blog too :)

Kasthu said...

I've been meaning to read "A Spot of Bother" for a long time.

Thanks for the review!