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A Spot of Bother de Mark Haddon
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A Spot of Bother (original: 2006; edição: 2007)

de Mark Haddon

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
5,4151791,431 (3.53)212
At 61, George is settling down to a comfortable retirement, building a shed in his garden, reading historical novels and listening to a bit of light jazz. Then his tempestuous daughter, Katie, announces that she is getting re-married, to the deeply inappropriate Ray. Katie's 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 husband's ex-colleagues. 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 Haddon's disturbing yet amusing portrait of a dignified man trying to go insane politely.… (mais)
Membro:DBZfan
Título:A Spot of Bother
Autores:Mark Haddon
Informação:Vintage (2007), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 512 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Detalhes da Obra

A Spot of Bother de Mark Haddon (2006)

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» Veja também 212 menções

Inglês (164)  Alemão (5)  Norueguês (3)  Francês (2)  Holandês (2)  Italiano (1)  Espanhol (1)  Catalão (1)  Todos os idiomas (179)
Mostrando 1-5 de 179 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Plus a half star - might have got 4 stars but I have only skimmed through bits of the book. I wasn't sure when I started it if I had read it before but a few pages and it jumped back into my memory. Enjoyed it very much. The narrative voice captures the strangeness of what is normal in much the same way as my favourite Agent Z books. The central character George has retired and his mind and actions as he begins to actually connect with the real world are observed with the same sympathetic distance as his Agent Z character - a blend of alien and innocent intelligence and a deliberate perspective of ignorance of the dodgy premises we mostly use to navigate everyday life without spending much time thinking. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
Reserved for my 10 cents on this book. 😀

Came to add my thoughts earlier than I expected. I liked the book. Chaotic and interesting characters that (imho) reflect an average family quite well.
Lives falling apart, people not talking, or not listening, making things much bigger than they really are, trying to keep a hold on everything that will happen... An impossible situation.

I enjoyed this book immensely. It has humour, but is not ridiculing situations. The importance of talking and really listening to the answer you get can't be emphasized enough. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Dec 13, 2020 |
I understood what was going on, I just didn't like what was going on. Feel free to ignore my rating. I think I'm done reading Haddon. That first book was awful darn good, though. ( )
  billycongo | Jul 22, 2020 |
"A Spot Of Bother" is a humane, humorous look a man slowly unravelling in retirement and the reaction of his family to his slide into mental illness. It gets us inside the heads of an older couple and their adult children, showing, with a mix of wit, acute social observation and admirable empathy, how they try to cope with lives that are not the ones that they expected to live but are the only ones they have.

As the title suggests, this is a very polite, very English view of dealing with personal crises by trying to pretend that they're not happening, or, if they are, then convincing yourself that they can be fixed by carrying on as normal for as long as possible.

George Hall has always been a quiet, responsible man. Now he is slowly, quietly, and with as little inconvenience to others as he can manage, being overwhelmed by mental illness. He suffers from constant anxiety and panic attacks that bring him to his knees. He has convinced himself that what his doctor diagnoses as eczema is really a fatal form of cancer.

He is aware that this is probably not a rational conclusion but it's not a belief he can free himself from. Nor can he share that belief with others, especially with the way things are with his family. So he continues alone until he does something that no one can ignore. Although this sounds like a source of humour and is handled lightly at times, the thing that came through most strongly to me was how George's illness isolated him, leaving him deeply afraid, quietly desperate and totally unable to ask for help. This felt very real to me.

Jean, George's wife of many years is portrayed honestly and non-judgementally. Given her frustration at having George under her feet all the time after decades of having to live her life mostly in his absence and her affair with an ex-colleague of George's, she could have been a stock comedy figure. Instead, we see the world through her eyes understand that her life and her loves aren't that simple.

George and Jean are put under stress by their children who are going through dramas of their own and who both seem to be attracted to men who are not from either the class of the culture that their parents would have chosen.

Their divorced with one child daughter, Katie, announces her intention to marry the not-quiet-smart-enough-or-well-read-enough Ray. He's very nice of course and so good with Katie's son. He's solid, dependable chap, but is he really someone their daughter should marry?

Their gay but only recently come out of the closet son, Jamie has a relationship with a very working-class young man that the family has never met. The upcoming wedding stresses Jamie's relationship and makes him question the comfortable but perhaps overly-safe life he's built for himself.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the skilled storytelling. The chapters are short. Each one immerses the reader in the mind of a member of the family. The plot is carefully crafted to get the most humour and tension from the interlocking characters while the voices of the characters keep the story real, reflecting the ambiguities and confusions and complex emotions of people who are dealing with what life is dishing out to them.

I recommend listening to the audiobook version of "A Spot Of Bother". It's narrated with skill and precision by Alex Jennings. ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
Although I guess I can see why certain fans don't like this one as much as Haddon's first book, I liked it just as well. It has the same flavor as the first, but with multiple main characters instead of just one. (I did not find them to be too many, as others are saying.)
Mark Haddon still does a fantastic job of showing rather than telling in terms of his characters--he really has a wonderful way of letting the reader get inside the characters' heads. I think that was part of what made his first novel great, and he has held onto that in this one.
Haddon writes well and is able to portray his characters both in angst and in happiness, which adds to the plot since one finds themselves identifying with the feelings of love, confusion, and upset. It is also an interesting perspective of how parents try to relate and understand their grown children and their decisions.

What made this one almost better than Curious Incident was the abundance of poignant moments. This book does not lack for meaningful segments but also doesn't overdo it. I sat and thought about certain passages sometimes --they really made me think.
I highly recommend this book to those who liked the first book for more than just its focus on a kid with a developmental disorder. He was very interesting, but I liked this family much more. They were more real, and quite a bit dysfunctional as any other family, only they had much more class, being English and all.

The only parts of the book I had a hard time with, were (1) that the panic attacks were difficult to deal with, if you've ever had one. (2) The "scissors" scene made me cringe, and race through -- I cannot understand anyone being that sick, they could do this to themselves. But then again, I am a big baby when it comes to pain, having had so much of it already. (3) I had a hard time with the ending, what with the (very English??) "let's get over with this, and on with things" attitude the main character seemed to suddenly BE ABLE to develope.. if you have EVER been depressed, this does not happen quite so quickly, or so easily. I don't care if you're English, and have that "stiff upper lip" mentality. That man needed LOTS more therapy, and anti-depressants. (And maybe this is why so many people are having a hard time with this book. Who among us is really all that comfortable with mental illness....??)


My favorite passage, of which there were many:


"What was Jamie going to say? It seemed so obvious what he felt. But when he tried to put it into words it sounded so clumsy and unconvincing and sentimental. If only you could lift a lid on the top of your head and say, 'Look.'" (243) ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 179 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
“A Spot of Bother” isn’t nearly as audacious, and in other hands and other media, its plot elements wouldn’t amount to much, maybe a weepy nighttime soap or a lesser Steve Martin comedy.
But Haddon is too gifted and too ambitious to write a hacky second novel. In fact, he’s so wondrously articulate, so rigorous in thinking through his characters’ mind-sets, that “A Spot of Bother” serves as a fine example of why novels exist. Really, does any other art form do nuance so well, or the telling detail or the internal monologue?
adicionado por sneuper | editarNew York Times, David Kamp (Sep 17, 2006)
 
Just as he flawlessly mastered the voice of a boy with Asperger's in The Curious Incident, here Haddon has filled 390 pages with sharp and witty observations about family and daily life.
This a superb novel, and I was shocked when it didn't made the Man Booker longlist. There may be a perfectly obvious, simple reason for its omission. After reading it though, I can't think of an explanation that's good enough.
adicionado por sneuper | editarThe Independent, Rebecca Pearson (Sep 3, 2006)
 
And that's what's so surprising about A Spot of Bother: how unsurprising it is. It's never less than pleasurable to read and there are good jokes and funny situations; it's just that it never tries to be much more than good jokes or funny situations.
It's not that this is a bad book - it isn't. It's amusing and brisk and charming. But readers could be forgiven for wanting - and expecting - more.
adicionado por sneuper | editarThe Guardian, Patrick Ness (Aug 26, 2006)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (14 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Haddon, Markautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Andersson, ThomasTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Keating, CharlesReaderautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Leskinen, TerhiTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Vance, SimonNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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At 61, George is settling down to a comfortable retirement, building a shed in his garden, reading historical novels and listening to a bit of light jazz. Then his tempestuous daughter, Katie, announces that she is getting re-married, to the deeply inappropriate Ray. Katie's 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 husband's ex-colleagues. 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 Haddon's disturbing yet amusing portrait of a dignified man trying to go insane politely.

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