July 20th, 2008


Going Mad in Peterborough

I sometimes wonder if the critics and I have read the same book. Here are some of the comments quoted on the cover of A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon.
‘Amusing, brisk and charming’
‘A delightfully dry comedy’
‘A crisp, light, effortless read’

And now from the resumé: ‘George…quietly begins to lose his mind.’ Oh; how very amusing. True, farcical events pile upon each other to reach a classic comic dénouement at a wedding but on the whole I found this account of a man having a breakdown extremely disturbing and was glad to finish it (it's also too long, IMO). If you fancy reading a book about an on-off wedding, try Made in Heaven by Adèle Geras. For family breakdown I recommend All Families are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland. I’d advise anyone who feels their own mental equilibrium is somewhat fragile to avoid A Spot of Bother. I loved The Curious Incident, BTW.