Julie's Reviews > The Red House

The Red House by Mark Haddon
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's review
Aug 22, 2012

it was ok

I am not much of a re-reader because there are too many books and not enough time. Curious Incident of the Dog by Haddon is something I've read a few times because this unusual story was told so well. Therefore, I had really high expectations of this book. I'm trying not to be too pouty about it after the uneven read. The set up is a wealthy older brother invites his estranged sister and her family to join him, his new wife and her snotty teenage daughter to vacation with them for a week in a Welsh countryside rental home. Richard is a medical guy and he appears to have it all figured out. Meanwhile, his wife is troubled by her past and her daughter is a classic mean girl teen. Richard's sister is tormented and crazy from her past. She has been enabled by her shiftless cheating husband and they have 3 kids who are trying not to get sucked under by their parents' dysfunction. This is a solid foundation for an interesting week from hell. Solid story with a strangely loose narrative. Haddon tries to tell it through each of their heads having their thoughts spill out and interweave with each other's. It's a gimmick that didn't enrich the story. I don't think it is ever acceptable to read a paragraph in a novel and not have a clue whose thoughts are being read. It leads to reader fatigue and apathy.
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