A spot of bother

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By Mark Haddon.

Highly recommended to anyone who gains pleasure from social  dynamics  or is an  Anglophile.

:-)   :-) :-)

review ratings explained

Lots of positive reviews of the book available  on metacritic.     The Daily Telegraph provides a succinct summary that maps to my experience.

“A spot of bother” is a phrase that I understand as being used to play-down the severity of a problem.   It’s like saying,   “yes there is a nasty problem but really you shouldn’t worry because we’ve got it all under control, lets not pay it any more attention“.    It’s not a phrase or technique for managing conversational distance that I’ve encountered in the US.

The story is of  family dynamics across generations situated around an impending Wedding.   Everyone has  an opinion on whether the wedding should happen and why,   and different ways of expressing their opinions,    or not.     The book touches on themes such as prefering silence to talking,   social intelligence versus academic intelligence and the bounds of realism and paranoia.   Some reviews talk about it as a black comedy or farce.   My impression is that it is something other than either genre,    neither funny nor melancholic despite the topics and events.

Thoroughly enjoyable, I felt right at home.

A spot of bother
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