9780786291236 / 0786291230

A Spot of Bother


3.45 avg rating24,345 ratings by GoodReads

Publisher:Thorndike Press, 2006



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About the book:

George Hall is an unobtrusive man. A little distant, perhaps, a little cautious, not quite at ease with the emotional demands of fatherhood or of manly bonhomie. The secret of contentment, George felt, lay in ignoring many things completely. Some things in life cant be ignored, however: his tempestuous daughter Katies deeply inappropriate boyfriend Ray, for instance, or the sudden appearance of a red circular rash on his hip.

At 57, George is settling down to a comfortable retirement, building a shed in his garden and enjoying the freedom to be alone when he wants. But then he runs into a spot of bother. That red circular rash on his hip: George convinces himself its skin cancer. And the deeply inappropriate Ray? Katie announces he will become her second husband. The planning for these frowned-upon nuptials proves a great inconvenience to Georges wife, Jean, who is carrying on a late-life affair with her husbands ex-colleague. The Halls do not approve of Ray, for vague reasons summed up by their son Jamies observation that Ray has stranglers hands. Jamie himself has his own problems  his tidy and pleasant life comes apart when he fails to invite his lover, Tony, to Katies wedding. And Katie, a woman whose ferocious temper once led to the maiming of a carjacker, cant decide if she loves Ray, or loves the wonderful way he has with her son Jacob.

Unnoticed in the uproar, George quietly begins to go mad. The way these damaged people fall apart  and come together  as a family is the true subject of Haddons hilarious and disturbing portrait of a dignified man trying to go insane politely.

A Spot of Bother is Mark Haddons unforgettable follow-up to the internationally beloved bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Once again, Haddon proves a master of a story at once hilarious, poignant, dark, and profoundly human. Here the madness  literally  of family life proves rich comic fodder for Haddons crackling prose and bittersweet insights into misdirected love.

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