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The Red House

2.94  ·  Rating details ·  14,211 ratings  ·  2,373 reviews
An dazzlingly inventive novel about modern family, from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The set-up of Mark Haddon's brilliant new novel is simple: Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just re-married and inherited a
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Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Published (first published May 10th 2012)
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Sharon Gray Page 251 is going to have different content from edition to edition, my page 251 had no Christian names referred to at all.
I think, sometimes, the…more
Page 251 is going to have different content from edition to edition, my page 251 had no Christian names referred to at all.
I think, sometimes, the device used to move from scene to scene - just a new paragraph with a few extra blank lines - can be a little confusing, in that you need to consciously notice that you're now in a different scene with a different group of characters. (less)
Vicky I liked it very much. I wasn't expecting anything like The Curious Incident, though, so that might have helped :)
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Average rating 2.94  · 
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 ·  14,211 ratings  ·  2,373 reviews


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John Luiz
I loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and A Spot of Bother, so I was very excited once I heard about this novel, and then became utterly disappointed with what a chore this one is to read. It's told in a stream of consciousness style when eight people get together -- an estranged brother and sister and their two families for a week of vacation after the brother and sister's mother died. The point of view shifts from one person's interior thoughts to the next from one ...more
Julie Christine
After attending several writing workshops in recent months, I've noted the popularity of fragmented, stream-of-consciousness writing among men of a certain demographic. White, aged somewhere between skinny hipster and the first thickening of the waistline, well-educated, enamored of morose, Sisyphean humor à la David Sedaris or, oh, let's say Mark Haddon. They write to a beat, disguising punchlines of angst in scattered phrases that connect like poetry but which strive to convey plot and ...more
Fabian
Sep 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This "Sound and the Fury" wannabe actually really truly signifies... nothing. But it's not wholly without merits. The prose is immersive, as "everyone in their little worlds" start to fall apart just as they barely begin to come together.
Michael
I liked the ride on this one a lot, though I can’t easily predict which friends would be equally pleased. There is a lot to be said about trusting a good chef to know what to serve. So one should release expectations before cracking this book. There is no wondrous Asperger savant kid in this one nor hapless and resilient man with a humorous Walter Mitty-like interior monologue. Here we get an extended dysfunctional English family (actually the families of two siblings) thrown together on a ...more
·Karen·

Extreme speed dating

What’s on your iPod right now?
PING!
If you were a book title, what would you be?
PING!
What’s your worst memory from childhood?
PING!
Do you have any memories from childhood?
PING!
If you could own an owl, like Harry Potter’s Hedwig, what would you call it?
PING!
Why are you vegetarian? Why aren’t you vegetarian?
PING!
Is there anyone here who hasn’t tried to kiss Melissa?
PING!
What was the last message on your phone?
PING!
Can you make a rocket out of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda?
PING!
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Michael
It’s hard to review a book like this; Mark Haddon is a very talented writer and he has some brilliant techniques employed into this novel. However, I can’t help comparing this book to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and ultimately I think this book lacked something to make this book great. With the huge success of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, I can’t help but think that Mark Haddon has gotten overly confident with his writing. While it was refreshing and ...more
J.
Jun 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first 40 pages were tedious and the next 60 were not much better, but after that the author seems to find a workable rhythm and attempts to figure out a novel's form for his ideas. One of the main problems is that Haddon seems to have graduated from the Bronte school of fiction and his use of descriptive adjectives is way beyond my ability to tolerate. I could have done without phrases like "The swill and chatter of water" on page 144 or "Bruised purple sky, wind like a train, the landscape ...more
Lindsay
I was genuinely thrilled to have the opportunity to read the new novel by Mark Haddon. Like millions I loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. I really enjoyed A Spot of Bother too.

I liked the idea behind this book. A brother and sister holiday together after their mother’s death, taking their children with them to spend a week in a rented holiday cottage on the Welsh border near Hay-on-Wye. The siblings, Angela and Richard, aren’t at all close, so we realise that this may be
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Rebecca McNutt
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
While the premise to this novel was deeply interesting, The Red House is not only confusing and choppy in style, but also irritatingly difficult to relate to or even really stay immersed in. It wasn't necessarily the story itself so much as the writing style and very predictable, simple characters. Their connections and troubles are clearly written out yet there's very little complexity to them, nor is much of their inner thoughts or emotion shown.

I did like the basic plot of the book, but the
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Maya Panika
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again Mark Haddon demonstrates his remarkable ability to hone tight, true and fascinating glimpses of humanity through the simplest and most mundane of situations. The Red House is enjoyably engaging, with a deep dark undercurrent, a beautiful blend of the mundane and esoteric in the most everyday of circumstances.

An extended family spend a first holiday together in a rural cottage. Estranged for 15 years, Richard and his sister Angela meet again at their mother's funeral, then Richard
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Lormac
Sep 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best way for me to review this book is to write the review like Haddon wrote this book – sort of a stream of consciousness flowing from the minds of the eight people in the house (of course, mine will just be from my mind, but I think you will get the idea):

“Taking your estranged relatives on a weeklong vacation in an isolated house is never a good idea; I can’t even imagine a week with my not-estranged relatives in this manner, and with only one car for all 8 people?!….Does every 18
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Jill
Apr 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It would be very easy to dismiss The Red House as just another book about dysfunctional families. The premise is familiar: Angela, her husband Dominick, and her three children (two teenagers, one eight year old) set off to spend a week in the English countryside with Angela’s brother Richard, a well-off doctor, his new wife Louisa and her spiteful teenage daughter Melissa. The goal is to reconnect after the death of Angela and Richard’s mother.

What elevates this book above the standard
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Girish
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
You could imagine hell being like this. Not the fire, not the press of devils, but a freezing unpeopled nowhere, the heart desperate for warmth and companionship, and the mind saying, Do not be fooled, this is not a place.

Mark Haddon's Red House is an inventive narrative of a dysfunctional family soap opera. It focuses on the uncomfortable holiday where everybody want it to end and the semblance of a family falls apart at the seams when they are forced to interact.

The book follows 8
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Laurel
Aug 12, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Sarah
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately for those of us who loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Haddon's newest novel has little of the spirit, compassion, and basically none of the humor that the earlier book had. Haddon describes simple acts--driving through the countryside, eating a meal--and complex emotions--guilt, fear, anger--with prose both confusing and pretentious. Lists that disguise themselves as short chapters and a stubborn refusal to use quotation marks did not help.

I would have quit
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Bonnie Brody
I was very fond of the novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and was looking forward to this novel by Mark Haddon. Unfortunately, this novel, The Red House, disappointed me greatly. The writing is very self-conscious and it is difficult to get a sense of the story which is obfuscated by the writing itself.

Basically, the story is about a brother and a sister who have been together only one time in fifteen years, at their mother's funeral. The brother, Richard, is a physician
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Rhiannon
May 13, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved "curious incident" and "spot of bother" and I couldn't wait to get my hands on Mark Haddon's New book, "the red house".

I have to say that I was disappointed by it. It did not deliver on humour, which I was fully expecting, and my immediate reaction to the prose was that it seemed as though Haddon was hoping for a book award of some sort with is arty fatty air. This was the work of someone who was just trying too hard. And it didn't work. I did not enjoy having to wade through various
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Prom
Jan 21, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I will start with the good points. I finished reading it so now it gets to count toward my goal for the 2013 reading challenge. Seriously though...I picked up this book because it was in my recommendations. Im an avid reader and this was very difficult for me to read. Im not a "trendy" person or a "hipster" by any means (even though, Im pretty sure, trendy and hipster are the same thing) so maybe thats why I couldnt really grasp the 1)writing style, 2)character development, 3)existential ...more
Adam Dunn
May 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
I admire Mark Haddon.
You have to admire someone who wrote a fantastic book, then a film for TV, then a book of poetry, then a novel. He hasn't followed a straight line, it seems like he has continually challenged himself and his art. With this new book he attempts to blur the line between poetry and novel.

While I do admire his attempts, I would also question the wisdom of never sticking to one thing long enough to perfect your work. Many writers' first book is not their best, and I would think
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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
2.5*
I read this book because I was unable to lay my hands on a copy of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Timefor a group read.
Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his family for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside following the death of their mother.
Richard has just re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her.
Richard
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Caroline Taggart
It‘s said that someone once said to Joseph Heller that he had never written anything as good as Catch-22. ‘Who has?’ he replied. Mark Haddon is going to have the same problem throughout his career –not many people will ever write anything as good as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Personally, I thought A Spot of Bother was underrated, but whether or not you liked that The Red House comes close to the achievement of A Curious Incident – and in a sense surpasses it by getting ...more
Guy Portman
Having greatly enjoyed A Spot of Bother and The Curious Incident by the same author, I was very much looking forward to reading The Red House. However I was very disappointed and have to confess that I only read about a third of the book. The Red House employs a stream of consciousness style, which has been successfully employed by a number of authors, Brett Easton Ellis probably being the preeminent contemporary example. However for me at least the problem was that The Red House was written in ...more
George
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of reasons not to like this book:

-- The perspective switches frequently, not just from section to section, but from paragraph to paragraph, and not only does it shift among the 8 main characters, but it also includes snippets from books that they are reading, lists of events from the outside world, and still more lists that aren't quite as obviously connected. As a result, the book can come across as choppy, confusing, and self-consciously artsy.

-- The characters themselves -- a
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Lynda
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you have a blockbuster first novel, it is often difficult to live up to your own hype. The pressure is great to great something equally great and unique. Mark Haddon had limited success with his second novel, but it got mostly luke war reviews. His third novel, The Red House, proves that Haddon is the author everyone said he could be after his first book.

This is a quiet book. There are no dramatic plot twists, no car chases or murders, yet you will find yourself needing to turn the page,
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Ariel
May 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-england
Thank you to Doubleday with providing me a review copy of this novel.

I think like most people I am familiar with Mark Haddon from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. R.I.P. Wellington. While I quite enjoyed that novel, sadly I cannot say the same here. It was only through sheer force of will that I was able to drag myself through it.

The novel is about Richard and his estranged sister Angela sharing a vacation home for a week with their respective families. Richard brings his new
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Claire
In this case I’d like to give a 3 1/2 as rating. If people expect this novel to be something like ‘the curious incident...’ they might be disappointed.
On the other hand, an author cannot write the same book over and over. I did enjoy this book and found the way people thought and the characters fascinating. The downside is a bit that the book tends to get tedious.
Maybe writing an excellent book with ‘stream of consciousness’ like techniques is only for the really great writers in the halls of
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Alena
May 12, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
The premise – two estranged families on holiday together – holds so much potential. The author’s track record – The Incident of the Curious Dog in the Nighttime – predicts great writing. The ambition – stream of consciousness from alternating perspectives – indicates something interesting. All of the components should have combined into a great novel. Instead, I spent 3 days with a muddled, confused, overly-ambitious mess of a book.

Haddon joins an estranged brother & sister, plus their
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Erin Clemence
2.5 stars. And I'm being generous.

What the hell did I just read? (no, seriously, someone please tell me)

After Mark Haddon’s fabulous and un-put-downable “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime”, I was absolutely stoked to discover another one of his books, “The Red House” expecting, if not the same, at least a similar level of captivating drama and enchanting characters. What I got, was none of the above.

To try and rekindle the relationship with his estranged sister, Angela,
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Kristen Beverly
Mark Haddon's newest novel, The Red House, is a story of a doctor, Richard, who has invited his estranged sister, Angela, and her family to vacation for seven days in the countryside with his new wife and step-daughter. Through being thrown together during these seven painful days, they all get to know each other's true feelings, fears, and grudges.

I will admit that I read a lot and I read fast. I'm a true speed reader and with the vast majority of books, I can read a 300 page book in just a
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Johara Almogbel
Dec 06, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52-books-2012
Tedious. There is no other way to describe this book than tedious. I hated it.If the cover wasn't so heartbreakingly gorgeous I would have thrown it onto a wall, cackling evily while it slammed into a solid mass of cement and (hopefully) getting a dent in the spine. Gasp. I know. That's vicious.

Anyway. Imagine the Memory Keeper's Daughter. Have you imagined it? Great. Add a couple of more utterly self-absorbed whiny characters, a plotline that goes absolutely nowhere, and a few crude references
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Mark Haddon is a British novelist and poet, best known for his 2003 novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. He was educated at Uppingham School and Merton College, Oxford, where he studied English.

In 2003, Haddon won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and in 2004, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize Overall Best First Book for his novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the
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“One person looks around and sees a universe created by a god who watches over its long unfurling, marking the fall of sparrows and listening to the prayers of his finest creation. Another person believes that life, in all its baroque complexity, is a chemical aberration that will briefly decorate the surface of a ball of rock spinning somewhere among a billion galaxies. And the two of them could talk for hours and find no great difference between one another, for neither set of beliefs make us kinder or wiser.” 16 likes
“It wasn't about believing this or that, it wasn't even about good and evil and right and wrong, it was about finding the strength to bear the discomfort that came with being in the world.” 15 likes
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