A spot of bother

a novel

No cover

Mark Haddon: A spot of bother (2007, Vintage Contemporaries)

Paperback, 354 pages

English language

Published Aug. 19, 2007 by Vintage Contemporaries.

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4 stars (6 reviews)

At the age of sixty-one, George Hall settles to a comfortable retirement. His tempestuous daughter, Katie, then announces that she is getting remarried to the deeply inappropriate Ray to her family's displeasure. Her mother, Jean, is disgusted with the huge preparation the wedding entails, which also disrupts her late-life affair with one of her husband's ex-colleagues. The seemingly neat and pleasant life of George and Jean's son, Jamie, disintegrates when he fails to invite his lover, Tony, to the dreaded nuptials.

12 editions

Review of 'A spot of bother' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Haddon’s characters dare you to like them, and for the most part I never managed it. The pacing is uneven, and the decision to cycle through limited third-person narrators at random doesn’t help. Haddon invites us to laugh at his characters as their nervous actions dig them deeper into misery, but it’s such a mean-spirited laugh it’s hard to join in.

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  • Older men
  • Mortality
  • Fiction