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3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh. Could take it over leave it. April 15 2009
I'm not really sure what to say about this novel.

On the one hand it had all the elements of a story that I would like. Great character development. Good plot. Cleanly written so that the story made for a fast read. Short chapters so again, it felt like a fast read. And likable characters, especially the main protagonist George.

So if I liked all these traits of the book then why am I on the fence as to where I stand with this novel? Well for starters the book dragged on. And on. And then on again. I mean there were parts of the book that I was reading, saying to myself "enough already. Just get on with it." And I'm afraid that I found myself saying this more often than not as I made my way through this book.

So what's the book about? In short it's about a family and its dysfunctions. You have George who thinks everything is wrong with him and his health. Then there's his wife who is having an affair. Don't forget the son Jamie who is gay. And of course the daughter Katie who is getting married to a guy the family doesn't like. All of which makes for a rich tapestry of story telling.

The book is definitely not as entertaining as Haddon's first novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. However it was an entertaining read. If you're looking for a Corrections type novel, then by all means give this novel a read.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spot of Brilliance Sept. 23 2006
Definitely as funny as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The shared madness of these characters is over Katie and Ray's wedding. There's a great quote in the book that weddings are not about the people getting married. They're just the two little figures at the top of the cake. Weddings are about families.

This is one crazy, messed up family. Haddon writes this fictional family's madness so well that I'm curious to meet his family.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars funny andd thought-provoking Aug. 24 2008
By Alixe
A Spot of Bother: A Novel I enjoyed this novel and was quite taken by the various emotions it stirred up in me. Indeed, it seemed to me as an accurate depiction of someone going not quite insane. It also accurately depicted how complicated relationships can be. I realize that many, many novels address this issue, but "a spot of bother" tackles it brilliantly. Often funny yet somewhat sad, this is definitely a thought-provoking story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts... May 30 2011
By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER
In "A Spot of Bother," the follow-up to Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime," protagonist George Hall becomes convinced that his eczema is actually cancer. He launches into a psychological tailspin while trying to channel a host of other problems: his daughter, Katie, is raising a toddler and is engaged to the unlikable Ray, his wife, Jean, is having an affair with George's co-worker and his son, Jamie, has been dumped by his boyfriend. Haddon does an amazing job of getting into the head of each character, intimately describing Jean's waffling over her affair, Katie's overwhelmed state as a single mother and George's depression. The book is hilariously odd but also touching and it leaves the reader with a genuine sympathy for poor George.
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