metro mama

Friday, September 22, 2006

Metro Mama Recommends: A Spot of Bother

I love stories about dysfunctional families—the Fischers of Six Feet Under; the Lamberts of Jonathon Franzen’s The Corrections. Mark Haddon’s latest novel, A Spot of Bother is another delicious tale of a modern family and all its foibles.

When recently retired George Hall discovers a lesion on his hip, he begins a descent into madness that’s exacerbated by the upcoming marriage of his daughter, Katie, to a man her family deems unsuitable. He’s further tormented by his discovery that his wife is having an affair with one of his former colleagues. George’s family have their own troubles: his son Jamie is dumped by lover Tony because he failed to invite him to Katie’s wedding; wife Jean juggles her exciting new lover with the increasing demands of a husband going mad and an upcoming wedding; Katie agonizes over whether not she loves her stable and supportive fiancée Ray or if she is just marrying him because he’s a good father to her son.

A Spot of Bother
is darkly funny, quirky, and entertaining. It was hard to put down.

Mark Haddon also wrote the best-selling, award-winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. The highly original novel is narrated by Christopher, a teenager suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome. Haddon has also written many children’s books.

Next review: Alice Munro’s latest The View From Castle Rock. So far, I’m lovin’ it.

Speaking of Alice Munro, I’m excited to see Away From Her, Sarah Polley’s adaptation of Munro’s short story The Bear Came Over the Mountain. Did anyone catch it at the film fest? Was it good?

What are some of your favourite films adapted from literature? Here’s a few of mine: Apocalypse Now, Romeo + Juliet (Baz Luhrmann), The Hours, The Sweet Hereafter, and, of course, the BBC Pride and Prejudice. What would you like to see adapted that hasn’t been already?



Blogger Mary-LUE said...

A Spot of Bother just went on to my "To Read" list. I loved The Curios Incident and am ready for another Haddon book!

10:16 AM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

I too loved The Curious Incident..., but I've fount it hard to believe that another of Haddon's novels could be quite as good without Christopher's unique narrative perspective. Did A Spot of Bother remind you in any way of Curious Incident, or was it just a good book in its own right?

10:37 AM  
Blogger cinnamon gurl said...

How about film adaptations that you hated? I have two on my blog now. Can't think of any good ones beyond what you mentioned (loved Romeo + Juliet - the one with Leonardo diCaprio, right?).

Just came to your blog from penelope and bumblebee, who I came to from bubandpie's perfect post nomination, who I came to from mad hatter. Gee, it's like the old testament or something.

You've made me want to read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Now if only I can remember next time I'm at the library.

11:20 AM  
Blogger metro mama said...

B&P: No, it was quite different from Curious Incident. I actually liked it better!

Kate: welcome! Hmmm...ones I hated. Let me think and get back on that. Nothing comes to mind right away. You?

11:50 AM  
Blogger creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

I'm alwasy a little weary about adapting my favorite books into movies.

99% of the time, they ruin the book...

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I can only appreciate a movie that is an adaptation of a book if I don't read the novel. When reading you can form the vision of the characters. It's also the complete picture while two hour movies can have difficulty cramming in all the details.

A Spot of Bother sounds right up my alley.

12:22 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

The corrections is an awesome book. Loved it, but it also really brought me down. Guess that is the point!

I would love to see a story, one that all of you parents should read to your kids at about age 6 or 7. It is called the Tale of Desperaux. A story about a (gasp) mouse. I laughed, I cried, the whole 9 yards.

5:25 PM  
Blogger jen said...

will definitely check it out. LOVED the Corrections. LOVE dysfunction.

6:14 PM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

This is definitely going on my list.

I'll have to think about what books I'd like to see adapted into movies, but I tell ya, I'm very impatient with books that read like the author wants it to be a movie. Snow Falling On Cedars was one; and (unleash rath now) The DaVinci Code was another.

9:40 PM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Penelope: don't get me started on the DaVinci Code.

10:58 PM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

don't get me started on my spelling error.

12:16 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

I loved the BBC P&P too! I have to admit I haven't seen any of your other lit-film favorites, so it's time to add them to the Netflix list.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

4:43 AM  

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