As most of my friends will attest, I am an avid reader. One of my favourite pastimes is collecting reading material recommendations from friends, and even random acquaintances, before heading out to Book Warehouse to grab the next quest. Matt will exaggerate and insist that my reading list solely follows that of Oprah’s book club, but thanks to some pretty incredible recommendations and random happenings of my own accord, I have stumbled across some pretty stellar literature.
I’m not as much of a ‘library card’ person as I’d like to be, simply due to the fact that I love reading at my own leisure time (be it a few days or a few months to tackle a book). In addition, I love being able to hand my copy over to someone else who I know will love the storyline as much as I did.
My latest endeavor was ‘A Spot of Bother’ by Mark Haddon. Haddon’s most commonly known for also stringing together the acclaimed, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’, published and released in 2006. This is now also on my list of must-reads.
A Spot of Bother really struck a chord with me. I love the complexity that can evolve from the simplest of storylines, in this books case, the unraveling of a family who’s father is slowly losing his mind (don’t worry, I’m not giving anything away, this is written as part of the back-cover description). The overall effects on the wife and his two children as told through each of their respective voices, constantly flipping as each paragraph blends into the next.
The emotions ring so true, that I often found myself sitting back, reflecting and associating with what the father was experiencing. His ability to turn the smallest ailment into a life-terminating disease was so realistic I truly felt his anguish right alongside. What makes this plot even better? The supporting character of the son, being a homosexual, and the father dealing with this revelation on top of everything else. Assuming Haddon is heterosexual, based on my research finding nothing to the contrary, I was overly impressed by his knack for capturing the true essence of a homosexual relationship, and the intricate sexual experiences of gay men.
A truly well written novel and a personal recommendation for anyone who loves a dysfunctional family story with a gay sub-plot. Unfortunately Haddon’s website, www.markhaddon.com is currently under construction, but keep checking back for the official launch.
Writer’s random note: Haddon and I share the same birthday. Therefore, we’re writing soul mates.