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A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon

A Spot of Bother

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Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2006.

Costa Book Awards 2006 Judges' comment:
"An absolute pleasure to read, with a lightness of touch overlaying real insight into chaotic family life."

If you like Mark Haddon you might also like to read books by Matthew Beaumont, Jonathan Coe and David Nicholls.


A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon

George Hall doesnât understand the modern obsession with talking about everything. ‘The secret of contentment, George felt, lay in ignoring many things completely.â Some things in life, however, cannot be ignored.

At fifty-seven, George is settling down to a comfortable retirement, building a shed in his garden, reading historical novels, listening to a bit of light jazz. Then Katie, his tempestuous daughter, announces that she is getting remarried, to Ray. Her family is not pleased – as her brother Jamie observes, Ray has ‘stranglerâs handsâ. Katie canât decide if she loves Ray, or loves the wonderful way he has with her son Jacob, and her mother Jean is a bit put out by all the planning and arguing the wedding has occasioned, which get in the way of her quite fulfilling late-life affair with one of her husbandâs former colleagues. And the tidy and pleasant life Jamie has created crumbles when he fails to invite his lover, Tony, to the dreaded nuptials.

Unnoticed in the uproar, George discovers a sinister lesion on his hip, and quietly begins to lose his mind.

The way these damaged people fall apart – and come together – as a family is the true subject of Mark Haddonâs disturbing yet very funny portrait of a dignified man trying to go insane politely.

About the Author

Mark Haddon

Mark Haddon is an author, illustrator and screen-writer who has written fifteen books for children and won numerous prizes, including two BAFTAs. He lives in Oxford. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time won the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the South Bank Show Book Award, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His poetry collection, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea was published in 2005. His most recent adult novel, A Spot of Bother, was published in 2006. David Fickling Books is publishing BOOM! in autumn of 2009, a rewrite of his children's book, Gridzbi Spudvetch.

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Book Info

Publication date

31st August 2006


Mark Haddon

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Literary Fiction
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