A Spot of Bother – Mark Haddon

A Spot Of Bother – Review Mark Haddon A Spot Of Bother jumped onto the book scene thanks to Mark Haddon in 2006. Its his second book after the hugely popular “A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night” so he had a lot to live up to. The book its self is a great read with an open style of writing that makes it really easy to read. The story is fictional comedy. It is written in 3rd person so we see into all of the characters lives so we get a good sense of how they feel and what they get up to, which makes us as a reader feel involved in the book. The story is set around the city of Peterborough but we are unsure of the time, because Haddon uses the likes of videos instead of DVDs “George was propped up in bed watching videos” and the characters seldom use their mobile phones so the story could be based anywhere between the 1980s up un until now. The lack of use of mobile phones makes the story more interesting because the characters wouldn’t end up running all over the place trying to catch up with people, which certainly add to the comedy/entertainment aspect of the book. Things are going well in George Hall’s life. He has just retired in the lovely English city of Peterborough. His children aren’t his responsibility anymore and his wife seems to be loving, and caring… Everything was perfect until he spots a growth called a lesion on his hip whilst on a shopping trip. George then jumping to conclusions decides he must have cancer, and even after his doctor tells him it’s eczema, he realizes there can only be one solution: “He would have to kill himself. He says nothing about it to his wife Jean, herself a little annoyed that George’s retirement makes it more difficult to carry on her affair with George’s former colleague, David. George and Jean’s daughter Katie, meanwhile, has just announced she’s getting married to Ray, of whom everyone in the family disapproves, apart from the couple. Meanwhile we have Jamie, the homosexual brother of Katie. Jamie looses his boyfriend Tony after a series of rows about weather Tony would be allowed to come to the wedding because George and Jean don’t seem to approve, much to Jamie’s dismay. Later on in the book we find out that Ray grows concerned that Katie only loves him for his house and his ability to be a good father to her son Jacob. Katie wonders if he might be right. With all the commotion going on George silently becomes increasingly worried about the “cancer” on his hip and slowly goes insane, all this was made worse after he found Jean in bed with David (former work colleague). Overwhelmed by a fear of dying, he tries to cut off the lesion with a pair of scissors and just about bleeds to death in his cellar/ garage in Jamie and Katie’s old paddling pool… The book is a great read and will have you chuckling away in places and at other times its serious because of the real life situations that are taking place in the book, but what’s surprising about the book is that its rather unsurprising its one of those typical books that works out okay in the end but I loved it because Haddon takes us on a journey in the book and we really get into it. In the end we know everything will be alright, in a way this comforts us as a reader to know that everything will be okay, because that’s who we are, we want things to be normal. That’s what I like about it; you get all the twists and turns you expect in a book along with a comforting ending. The book also has the type of things you would expect from a normal family of our time the cheating the lies the arguments, things we can relate to. So I would give Haddon an 8/10 for this book

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