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Listening to A Spot of Bother June 18, 2008

Posted by bookgoddess in Audiobooks, Authors, Books, Fiction, Reading.
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Are books better when read aloud by a gifted narrator?  I recently listened to A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon, most acclaimed for his wonderful Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.  Spot was published to slightly mixed reviews, but the audiobook, read by Simon Vance, won an award, and I myself thought it was fabulous. 

The book is told from the viewpoint of four members of a deeply dysfunctional British family.  Retiree George Hall is depressed and convinced that the spot on his hip is some kind of terminal cancer.  His wife Jean is having an affair with one of George’s former colleagues.  Their daughter Katie is having doubts about her upcoming marriage to Ray; and their son Jamie is commitment phobic and has consequently been left by the man he really loves. 

Haddon’s portrayal of the interior life of these characters is brilliant.  We see their changing emotions, their reactions to events, their failings and virtues.  We empathize, sometimes we are amused, and occasionally we laugh out loud.  

But let’s go back to the audiobook question.  It seems to me that we spent many more generations around the campfire listening to the storyteller than we have curled up with books.  And though I think print is the still the most convenient reading medium, I love being told a good story.  This is one.  Don’t miss it. 

Happy Reading!

The Book Goddess

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Comments»

1. So many books, so little time... - June 20, 2008

I have to say if you think it was fabulous, I’ll have to give it try. I “shop” your reading suggestions all the time for my mom and myself. We have never been disappointed yet. Thanks for all the great hours of literary enjoyment.


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