A Spot of Bother

By Mark Haddon

A Spot of Bother

 3.5 

A Spot of Bother

19 Quotes    3.5 

George Hall is a carefree man. A little distant, maybe a little cautious, not quite at ease with fatherhood's emotional demands, or manly bonhomie. He has no understanding of the modern obsession of talking about everything. "George felt the secret of contentment lay in complete ignorance of many th... ings." However, some things in life cannot be ignored. George settles down to a comfortable retirement at the age of 61, builds a shed in his garden, reads historical novels and listens to a bit of light jazz. His tempestuous daughter, Katie, then announces to the deeply inappropriate Ray that she is getting re-married. Her family is not happy – as her brother Jamie observes, Ray has "strangler's hands." Katie can't decide whether she loves Ray, or loves the wonderful way he has with her son Jacob, and her mother Jean is slightly outdated by all the wedding planning and arguing that has caused her to get in the way of her late-life affair with one of her husband's ex-colleagues. And Jamie's tidy, pleasant life created crumbles when he fails to invite his lover, Tony, into the dreaded nuptials. Unnoticed in the uproar, George discovers a sinister hip lesion, and he starts losing his mind quietly. The way in which these damaged people fall apart – and come together – as a family is the real subject of Haddon's troubling yet amusing portrait of a dignified man trying to go politically insane. A SPOT OF BOTHER is the unforgettable follow-up by Mark Haddon to the internationally sought after bestseller THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME. Here the madness of family life – literally – is proving rich comic fodder for Haddon's crackling prose and bittersweet insights into misdirected love.

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  • PUBLISHED BY

    Doubleday

  • PUBLISHED ON

    Sep 5, 2006

  • ISBN

    0385520514 , 9780385520515

  • FORMAT

    Paperback

  • LANGUAGE

    English

  • NO. OF PAGES

    354

Other Formats

A Spot of Bother

A Spot of Bother

368 Pages
English

A Spot of Bother

A Spot of Bother

12 Pages
English

Quotes from A Spot of Bother

At twenty life was like wrestling an octopus. Every moment mattered. At thirty it was a walk in the country. Most of the time your mind was somewhere else. By the time you got to seventy, it was probably like watching snooker on the telly.

Age   Life

It exasperated her sometimes. The way men could be so sure of themselves. They put words together like sheds or shelves and you could stand on them they were so solid. And those feelings which overwhelmed you in the small hours turned to smoke.

And it occurred to him that there were two parts to being a better person. One part was thinking about other people. The other part was not giving a toss what other people thought.

You love someone, you've got to let something go.

She idly stroked his head in the way one might stroke a dog.

He really did not care whether he survived or not, so long as it rendered him unconscious and absolved him of responsibility.

Reviews of A Spot of Bother

Their divorced daughter, Katie, announces her impending marriage to a man who might even be duller than George, but who provides security and emotional support for her son.

His first novel, published three years ago, was called “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” The new one is called “A Spot of Bother.” Neither book has anything to do with a plasticine man-dog duo propelled by stop-motion animation.

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon 390pp, Jonathan Cape, £17.99 Mark Haddon's first novel after the worldwide success of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a real oddity, but not at all in the way you might expect.

Or, in the case of Bother's protagonist, George Hall, deeply insane.

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