Laurel's Reviews > The Red House

The Red House by Mark Haddon
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's review
Aug 12, 2012

did not like it
Read in August, 2012

I now have a new book that I can say is the worst book I have ever read. I say "read", but actually only got to page 84 before I started scanning, hoping there was something worthy of merit about this book. I scanned to the end and was thoroughly disappointed that I'd spent good money to buy this awful bit of literature. The cover boasts "author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time", and that is why I bought it. It seems Haddon was riding on the success of that previous wonderful book to get this published.

I really liked the frankness and uniqueness of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time". It was clever, intelligent and decent. I gave it 5 stars. This book is slimy, dirty, raw and boring. AHHH!

I never like seeing the f-bomb in writing. Mark Haddon seems to think he's a grown-up now--so he has some pathetic license to use it and other 4 letter swear words like adjectives. I could identify with none of his characters except Angela. She has guilt/sorrow over her baby born with an abnormality and had died 18 years previously. He makes Daisy out to be a religious fanatic because she has chosen to be a Christian. Dominic is a cheating husband. Richard, a rich doctor, is a pompous creep with the values of an alley cat. Melissa is a pothead and a bully who nearly caused a girl to commit suicide. Alex is a teenage rapist and sex addict.

I forced myself through the first part of the book hoping the plot or the characters would capture me enough to wade through it. He uses fragmented sentences, loosely connected descriptions in endless paragraphs. He seems to think the use of quotation marks to denote speakers is unnecessary, because he relies on italics for quotes, or thoughts, or book passages.

I will end with a quote from Julie Luekenga who also reviewed this book. She quoted Pat Conroy, prolific author of many books including the Prince of Tides and The Great Santini:

"I was born into the century in which novels lost their stories, poems their rhymes, paintings their form, and music its beauty, but that does not mean I had to like that trend or go along with it. I fight against these movements with every book I write." (from "My Reading Life")

Amen Pat. The emperor really was naked and trendy writing styles with little story line doesn't make a book good.
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07/05 marked as: read

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