Rating: 2.5 stars
Oh dear. A Spot of Bother was a mistake. It had been on my to read pile for a while. My sister passed it on after she’d read it, saying it was okay, an easy read, not too taxing. I eventually picked it up because it promised to be funny and I’d had one of my spates of heavy reading.
I didn’t find it the slightest bit funny. It was well written, but I found it sad and grim. Mark Haddon has a good understanding of human nature, but the depiction of dysfunctional relationships and mental illness was nothing to laugh about. One of the characters was hard to care about but had a key role, and by the end it had descended into farce that seemed to have been written with an eye to TV adaptation. I wish there had been a bit more joy in there.
It’s a shame, because Haddon can handle difficult subjects well. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a wonderful book, realistic and honest but also hopeful and entertaining. A Spot of Bother wasn’t worth the bother at all.