• A Spot of Bother

  • A Novel
  • By: Mark Haddon
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (478 ratings)

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A Spot of Bother  By  cover art

A Spot of Bother

By: Mark Haddon
Narrated by: Simon Vance
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Publisher's Summary

At 61, George Hall is settling down to a comfortable retirement. Then his tempestuous daughter, Katie, announces that she is getting remarried, to the deeply inappropriate Ray. Her family is not pleased and Katie can't decide if she loves Ray or loves the wonderful way he has with her son, Jacob. Her mother, Jean, is a bit put out by all the planning and arguing the wedding has occasioned, which get in the way of her quite fulfilling late-life affair with one of her husband's ex-colleagues. And the tidy and pleasant life George and Jean's son, Jamie, has created crumbles when he fails to invite his lover, Tony, to the dreaded nuptials.

A Spot of Bother is Mark Haddon's unforgettable follow-up to the internationally beloved best seller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Here the madness, literally, of family life proves rich comic fodder for Haddon's crackling prose and bittersweet insights into misdirected love.

©2006 Mark Haddon (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"No bother at all, this comic follow-up to Haddon's blockbuster (and nicely selling book of poems) is great fun." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about A Spot of Bother

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    163
  • 4 Stars
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    100
  • 2 Stars
    40
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    16
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    59
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Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    82
  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
    43
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    9

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Bother with this one

Bother with it. This very nicely written and excellently narrated novel details the events of yet another dysfunctional British family as the days peel away toward the matriarchal daughter's second wedding. The father, George, is rapidly deteriorating into a pleasantly numb malaise, while his wife sleeps with an ex-colleague, his gay son's relationship falls apart and his daughter veers away from then back to marriage.

A good read with wonderful descriptions and details of this family's life. Oddly, the story occasionally drifts into nearly graphic sex, focusing mostly on Jamie's gay relationship. On the whole, however, full of laughs and pathos and insights. Read it, especially for the narrator's brilliant voice characterizations.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointment

After "the curious incident", a book that I absolutely loved, I was greatly disappointed.
I found this book to be wanting of a story line.
There really was limited overall message/story that linked everything together

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

A delightful foray into the nature of family and love, and whether either is definable or teachable. Like his previous novel, you're left wondering how Mr. Haddon knows these things. Smashing fun.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

More please

This is a touching, funny, tender story of a British family's mental journey as they prepare for the daughter's wedding. The characters are rich, brilliantly described. The narrator is amazing. His reading of the young grandson is so spot-on that I laughed almost every time the young boy spoke. The only problem with this book is that it ends (although I thought the ending was perfect).

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

DONT BOTHER WITH THIS SPOT!

I loved Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" about an autistic teen and his family. It was insightful and hard to put down. This book, however, is just a hot mess of too many people doing way too much, much of it immoral or just ridiculous! I couldn't finish it and was very disappointed.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

I laughed, I cried. Laughed more than cried. Rooted for each character, even though they had opposing goals. His first two books are wonderful, this one and the 'Curious Incident...'

Not so heavyweight, but memorable and worthwhile. Even delightfully ironic you might argue, the cosy, matter-of-fact style versus the subject matter. It is easy to picture a masterpiece in Haddon's future.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Perhaps it should be read...

...because I love the narrator and loved this author's previous book in handheld form.

I found listening to this bleakly comic tale of woe and glacial coming to terms arguably too much like being imprisoned and forced to watch a sitcom that you just do not like.

Maybe I'll pick up a paperback of it in the library someday and see if my hunch is right: the book probably does not survive even masterly narration, unless one enjoys squirming in discomfort for hours at a time.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

FAntastic!

What a delight of wonderful story, brilliant language, amazing narration. Not a wasted word or an unfilled moment of narration. When it all comes together like this I kinda want to weep for joy. Thank you!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun and poignant

I wasn't sure what to expect after listening to The Curious Incident, which I *loved*, but Harmon delivered on this one, too. Narrated from several characters' viewpoints, the listener gets inside a British family's joys and flaws, laughing and sympathizing the whole way through. When my iPod runs out of whatever's new in the car, I've returned to this story with pleasure. Enjoyable.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great

This is a wonderful book about a very flawed family and how they deal with each other and various catastrophes in their lives. I love love love the narrator. He is one of my favorites. At times very difficult to listen to, this book is very real. If you read The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night, this book is very differnt but still captures the utter humanity of each of these imperfect characters.

5 people found this helpful