Spot of Bother

A Spot of Bother a Novel of Mark Haddon

Spot of Bother

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George has noticed a small rash on his hip. If he chooses to ignore it everything will be fine. He will lend support to his daughter as she prepares for her second wedding. He will give a charming speech at the reception. His emotionally distant son Jamie will happily attend. Jamie might even bring his lover Tony to the wedding. Tony will be welcomed with open arms.

If George ignores that spot of bother, he may even remain blissfully unaware of his wife’s ongoing affair with one of his former business colleagues. He does NOT ignore the rash. To say the least. He becomes more than a little obsessed with doing something about it. Things begin to go badly. Then they get worse. For everyone. A comedy of manners ensues. Irony abounds.

For me, this book is about losing perspective. The characters all run into trouble when they choose to focus on the wrong aspects of their lives. The milestones they are encountering in their lives play into this. When they’re enmeshed in their everyday lives things seem to go well. But when they step back and start questioning things, look out.

I didn’t completely buy George’s rapid spiral into near insanity. But the rest of it rang true for me. There are many truly hilarious scenes that unfold throughout the book. Very funny. And a few quite touching moments as well.

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