Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Spot of Bother

Title: A Spot of Bother
Auhtor: Mark Haddon
Vintage, 2007

Newly retired man, who is used to keeping a stiff upper lip and solving problems by ignoring them, is suddenly plunged into mental mayhem when he discovers he has skin cancer (it is really eczema), and comes home one day to find his wife in bed with another man. Simultaneously, his daughter is getting married to an oaf (he turns out to be a real life-saver though) and his son is bringing his lover Tony to the wedding (Tony turns out to be a pretty neat guy too). Valium, going AWOL, wine and self-administred minor surgery, all seem like good solutions ar first, but turn out to be quite unhelpful in the long run.

I didn't hurry out to buy Haddon's new novel since I'd heard that it was rather disappointing, but after having read it I realise that he could have published the comic equivalent of Crime and Punishment and it would still disappoint people after The Curious Incident... This is a really funny, sad book about everyday people who are not used to dealing with life's little surprises. I laughed out loud quite a few times, which needs to be said since I almost never do that. Give it a chance!

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