Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mark Haddon

I volunteered again this morning at my sister's art gallery. Well it's hers, her husband's, her husband's brother, and her husband's brother's wife's gallery. I digress. I stay there every other Saturday morning in greet visitors and answer the phone.

It's close to home, and I love the time alone. It's the only time I am by myself and not running errands. It's Nora Time. Last time I was there I finished reading a Shirley Jackson novel I'd been trying to read for months. Then I worked on my novel. It was splendid.

Today I read throughout my entire Nora Time. I am reading A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. He wrote one of my favorite books ever, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. If you haven't read it, read it. And so far I'll say the same about A Spot of Bother.

I'd like to say something about his writing starting with the words, "Observant and witty..." but I don't want to be like the reviewers on who think they're like, real reviewers. Those two words do describe him though.

Curious Incident is brilliant because it is narrated by a pre-teen boy with autism- it's sad, it's funny, the style is so accurate, did I mention read it now? I am thoroughly enjoying A Spot of Bother because it has that same sadness and subtle hilarity about every day life from all different points of view.

Again I can't tell you what they're about because I am bad at summarizing ideas (see example: last post) which is really frustrating because how, if I ever finish it, will I manage to pitch my novel to a publisher? Oh gosh, Nora.

Really sad attempts: Curious Incident is the story of this boy's neighbor's dog that was killed with a gardening tool on its front lawn, and how the boy, in trying to solve the mystery of Who Killed the Dog? inadvertently digs up all kinds of secrets. A Spot of Bother is about a retiree who might be going crazy and/or dying while his daughter plans her second sure-fail marriage, his wife cheats on him, his son alienates his secret gay lover, and he himself discovers what might very well be cancerous lesions on his skin.

I hope I didn't ruin it for anyone.

And don't you want to go buy these books???

No, seriously, please read Mark Haddon.


AndreAnna said...

I've been so busy lately, I haven't had much time to read. And this coming from a girl who used to read like 3-4 books a week.

I plan on using what little maternity leave time I have before this baby to catch up, and I'll definitely put him on my list.

Thanks for the recommendation!

bridge said...

ohhh sounds good, I will be checking him out! Thanks!

Melissa said...

Yup, that was it! Lol!

All Adither said...

I read Curious Incident and liked it. Though it depressed the heck out of me...maybe I'll give his most recent a try someday.