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  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407052762
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 512

A Spot of Bother

A brilliantly funny, bestselling novel by the award-winning author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

'A painful funny humane novel: beautifully written, addictively readable and so confident' The Times

Discover this brilliantly comic and moving bestselling novel by the award-winning author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and The Porpoise.

At fifty-seven, George is settling down to a comfortable retirement, building a shed in his garden, reading historical novels, listening to a bit of light jazz. Then Katie, his tempestuous daughter, announces that she is getting remarried, to Ray.

The family is not pleased, as her brother Jamie observes, Ray has 'strangler's hands'. Katie can't decide if she loves Ray, or loves the way he cares for her son Jacob, and her mother Jean is a bit put out by the way the wedding planning gets in the way of her affair with one of her husband's former colleagues. And the tidy and pleasant life Jamie has created crumbles when he fails to invite his lover, Tony, to the dreaded nuptials.

Unnoticed in the uproar, George discovers a sinister lesion on his hip, and quietly begins to lose his mind.

  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407052762
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 512

About the author

Mark Haddon

Mark Haddon is a writer and artist. His bestselling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, was published simultaneously by Jonathan Cape and David Fickling in 2003. It won seventeen literary prizes, including the Whitbread Award. In 2012, a stage adaptation by Simon Stephens was produced by the National Theatre and went on to win 7 Olivier Awards in 2013 and the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play. In 2005 his poetry collection, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, was published by Picador, and his play, Polar Bears, was produced by the Donmar Warehouse in 2010. His most recent novel, The Red House, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2012. The Pier Falls, a collection of short stories, was also published by Cape in 2016. To commemorate the centenary of the Hogarth Press he wrote and illustrated a short story that appeared alongside Virginia Woolf's first story for the press in Two Stories (Hogarth, 2017).

Also by Mark Haddon

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Praise for A Spot of Bother

This is a superb novel.

Rebecca Pearson, Independent on Sunday

Wry, warm-hearted and entertaining

Charlotte Moore, Telegraph

Succinct chapters, replete with horror, humour and the minutiae of everyday life

Eithne Farry, Daily Mail

Amusing and brisk and charming

Patrick Ness, Guardian

A delightfully dry comedy

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday

A painful, funny, humane, novel: beautifully written, addictively readable and so confident

The Times

A crisp, light effortless read, a sympathetic and sometimes very funny social comedy that, for the most part, perfectly skewers its hapless protagonists and their hopeless pretensions ... Like Nick Hornby... he can bring to everyday life a pleasing solidity and veracity, and he can also place a character with a single, deft phrase

Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times

This is a masterful novel in which Haddon has surpassed his previous achievement. He pulls of the extraordinary trick of being simultaneously riotously funny, profoundly insightful and deeply poignant... Painted on a small canvas, Haddon has written beautifully about the messiness of life with a poise and grit that few novelists truly possess. Fans of Curious Incident can rest assured that they won't be disappointed

Julie Wheelwright, Scotland on Sunday

Haddon's style is a reader's bliss. He writes seamless prose. The words are melted into meaning... Haddon's gift is to make us look at ourselves when we think we're looking away, being entertained

Tom Adair, Scotsman

An antidote to cynicism.... Haddon floats insights -sculpted, delicate and precise as origami - on currents of offbeat wit... you don't know whether to laugh or cry at the waywardness of the human spirit, you are salved by the compassion and humour of the tale. The delight is in the detail

Jennie Renton, Sunday Herald

It has already been repeat-snubbed by this year's Man Booker judges. They've made a mistake. A Spot of Bother may be a novel about a humdrum family living in Peterborough, told in the third person this time, in deliberately ordinary language. Yet there is more real linguistic artistry, not to mention human empathy, at work, here than in all those poetic prosemongers, the Ondaatjes and the Banvilles. . . . A Spot of Bother is a novel of minor incidents but it tackles big problems. Strange the judges missed that. Again

David Sexton, Evening Standard

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