Trin's Reviews > A Spot of Bother

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
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Jun 03, 07

bookshelves: fiction, english-lit
Read in April, 2007

Okay, here's how this breaks down:

Book about a real-life serial killer
Trin: I think I'll read this my first night in a strange, new apartment, in an unfamiliar neighborhood, when I'm all alone, and almost all the lights are off! La la la!

Book featuring one plot thread about a man's slow descent into madness, including a scene of botched self-surgery
Trin: *hides under the bed* *whimpers*

Yeah. I found this novel very hard to get through—which, if anything, should I suppose be a compliment to Haddon. As he demonstrated with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, he has amazing skill when it comes to POV: while in the head of any given character (even an autistic boy, as in Incident, or a man slowly losing it, as in Bother), the reader is fully aware not only of how that character perceives the world, but of how that perception is subtly (or not-so-subtly) off. It's an incredible balancing act, and Haddon never stumbles. Just, if you're planning to read this book, know what you're getting into. It may be a light comic novel, but it is a light comic novel that will freak you the fuck out.
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Catherine Ha! It's so interesting to me how these things strike us so differently! I thought it was almost *fluffy*, although I absolutely agree, his gift for POV writing is commendable. When George is attempting the self-surgery, it seems like the most logical thing in the world from inside his head.

That said, I read most of this last night while whacked out of my head on steroids and unable to sleep. Perhaps that gave me a little distance from the narrative.


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