Gracie Bawden's Reviews > A Spot of Bother

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
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's review
Feb 20, 2017

it was amazing

Having read The Curious Incident as a kid and having absolutely adored it, I knew that I was in for a treat when I discovered A Spot of Bother, but perhaps I underestimated just how great it would be. The story follows George, a recently retired middle class English man, and his family, going about their normal lives, with one glaring difference; George has discovered a lesion on his hip. He is dying of cancer. Or at least he believes he is.

George is a hypochondriac with a very British stiff upper lip. He desperately tries to go about his life as though nothing is changing. He keeps working on the studio he is building in his garden. He listens to jazz and helps with the preparations for his daughter's wedding, until he starts to find himself hyperventilating in the garden, walking out of a shop wearing a pair of trousers he hasn't paid for, standing in the shower with a pair of scissors hovering over his lesion.

Meanwhile, practically unnoticed by George, his family is in tatters. His wife is having an affair, his daughter is about to embark on her second marriage, to a man with 'Strangler's Hands', and his son is too embarrassed by his family to allow them to meet his boyfriend.

This book is another excellent exploration into mental health issues by Haddon. It gives the victim a voice. And that voice is sometimes uncomfortably hilarious, briskly understated and nakedly vulnerable. George is not the crazed madman we are used to reading about. He is not other. He is the most normal man you could ever imagine which is what makes this story so much more compelling, believable, and often difficult to read. But if you want to be challenged, this is definitely a book for you.
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Reading Progress

May 10, 2012 – Started Reading
May 10, 2012 – Shelved
February 20, 2017 – Finished Reading

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