Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Spot of Bother (book review)

From The Movie Snob

A Spot of Bother, by Mark Haddon (2006). This is a British novel about a dysfunctional family. The paterfamilias is George Hall, a 61-year-old retiree from a career working for a company that manufactures playground equipment. Like many men his age, George is solid, dependable, quiet, unromantic, and uncomfortable talking about his feelings. Thus, it hits him particularly hard when he starts to go crazy, suffering from panic attacks and episodes in which he is convinced that he has cancer and can think of nothing except death. But his family is of little help. His wife is having an affair with a former co-worker of his. His divorced daughter is about to get married to a man that her parents dislike, and even she isn't sure she's in love with him. His homosexual and amazingly self-absorbed son has broken up with his lover. In short, the Hall family has problems. Although well written, the book's charms gradually palled on me, and by the end I thought the plot had gotten a little creaky. An average book.


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