Download A Spot of Bother Audiobook

A Spot of Bother Audiobook, by Mark Haddon Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Mark Haddon Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN: 9780739342657
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (16,862 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $20.00 Add to Cart
— or —
BEST PRICE!
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

George Hall is an unobtrusive man. A little distant, perhaps, a little cautious, not quite at ease with the emotional demands of fatherhood or of manly bonhomie. “The secret of contentment, George felt, lay in ignoring many things completely.” Some things in life can’t be ignored, however: his tempestuous daughter Katie’s deeply inappropriate boyfriend Ray, for instance, or the sudden appearance of a red circular rash on his hip.

At 57, George is settling down to a comfortable retirement, building a shed in his garden and enjoying the freedom to be alone when he wants. But then he runs into a spot of bother. That red circular rash on his hip: George convinces himself it’s skin cancer. And the deeply inappropriate Ray? Katie announces he will become her second husband. The planning for these frowned-upon nuptials proves a great inconvenience to George’s wife, Jean, who is carrying on a late-life affair with her husband’s ex-colleague. The Halls do not approve of Ray, for vague reasons summed up by their son Jamie’s observation that Ray has “strangler’s hands.” Jamie himself has his own problems — his tidy and pleasant life comes apart when he fails to invite his lover, Tony, to Katie’s wedding. And Katie, a woman whose ferocious temper once led to the maiming of a carjacker, can’t decide if she loves Ray, or loves the wonderful way he has with her son Jacob.

Unnoticed in the uproar, George quietly begins to go mad. The way these damaged people fall apart — and come together — as a family is the true subject of Haddon’s hilarious and disturbing portrait of a dignified man trying to go insane politely.

A Spot of Bother is Mark Haddon’s unforgettable follow-up to the internationally beloved bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Once again, Haddon proves a master of a story at once hilarious, poignant, dark, and profoundly human. Here the madness — literally — of family life proves rich comic fodder for Haddon’s crackling prose and bittersweet insights into misdirected love.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_000898

Quotes & Awards

  • Both clever and observant, and the effect is vastly affecting. Washington Post Book World
  • This original and affecting novel is a triumph of empathy. The New Yorker
  • Gloriously eccentric and wonderfully intelligent. Boston Globe
  • “Funny, sad and totally convincing. Time

    “More so than precursors like The Sound and the Fury and Flowers for Algernon, The Curious Incident is a radical experiment in empathy.
  • Moving . . . Think of The Sound and the Fury crossed with The Catcher in the Rye and one of Oliver Sacks’s real-life stories. Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
  • Disorienting and reorienting the reader to devastating effect . . . as suspenseful and harrowing as anything in Conan Doyle. Jay McInerney, New York Times Book Review
  • A 2006 Costa Book Award Nominee

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samra | 2/20/2014

    " There was something extremely likeable and real about the story. George, Jean, Katie and Jamie are all humans - with their own issues - which make them slightly crazy, yet real. I dont know what the writer wanted the 'take-home' for his readers to be - but for me it just is 'crazy is what life does to us' - thats it!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kat | 1/29/2014

    " So close to real life it's scary! But also why it's so funny :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tony | 1/27/2014

    " I don't think the dark humor in this book was really wasn't my thing, but it had a cute ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mindy | 1/23/2014

    " I liked the different way this author rights. He does a good job of portraying each of his different characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tiffany | 1/20/2014

    " Made for a good chuckle "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chantel | 1/17/2014

    " Hilarious ... And depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lara | 1/16/2014

    " These characters are so lovingly flawed, you wish you could attend more of their dysfunctional family funcions. George goes quetly insane as politely as possible, how terribly English. Grisly and humourous by turns. I was a little baffled by the use of American spellings, but I'm persnickety that way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 1/15/2014

    " Heartwarming and funny story of a very dysfunctional family. George, the father, is convinced he is dying of cancer and develops psychotic tendencies. Meanwhile, George's wife is having an affair, his daughter is going to marry a man the family does not approve of and his homosexual son is having relationship issues. This book will keep you guessing up until the end! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn | 1/7/2014

    " This particular book, with interesting sense of humor underlying throughout the book, was one of my favorites. I laughed and giggled uncontrollably. It may just be my unusual sense of humor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 12/13/2013

    " Fascinating and engaging. A great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ramey | 11/27/2013

    " what a great book. funny, engaging, sad, moving. love and family and everything else. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clare | 11/16/2013

    " I really really liked this book, possible even more than Haddon's previous work. I felt the characters to be very sympathetically drawn and thought it a very heartfelt, subtle and funny look at family life. I will read it again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yuichiro | 11/10/2013

    " Not as good as the "Curious Dog" but still good. It took a while to get into. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 8/21/2013

    " i can imagine this as a very good funny serious warm movie (I hope they'll make it into a movie) .. at the end i imagined Steve Martin as George Hall.. or someone as funny and witty as him.. i cant wait for another Mark Haddon's.. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Frederick | 7/3/2013

    " I could not get interested in this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Selz | 7/1/2013

    " Very VERY funny. It may have been a sombre subject matter but it was dealt with in a light way. Completely different from his first book and could easily establish him as a favourite author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 6/1/2013

    " When I finished reading the book I liked it, but the more I thought about it and absorbed what I had read I really liked it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alyssa | 3/4/2013

    " I trudged through this book expecting it to improve because of how much I'd liked Haddon's previous book, but the story was too watered down and American modern sitcom trying to be edgy. I felt that there were too many characters to care about, so I cared about none of them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suz | 4/22/2012

    " I thought the first few chapters were comically brilliant, but then it got into quite a slog. I didn't want to compare this to "The Curious Incident..." but I have to say that I will highly recommend it, and can't say the same for A Spot of Bother. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 4/19/2012

    " After reading The Curious ...Dog in the Night Time...I went for another, just to see if he held true...and he does! Again, totally human, quirky characters with a bit convoluted but real plot line that has a hopeful if not fairy tale happy ending. He's just plain fun to read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phrexus | 4/9/2012

    " A funny book. It deals how one guy cracks up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 3/6/2012

    " the curious incident of the dog in the night-time is one of my favorite books and mark Haddon's second book did not disappoint. The only frustrating thing was having to wait so long for his next novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sunayna | 8/13/2011

    " The book has it's moments and extremely memorable quotes. Though try not to compare it with 'The Curious Incident...'. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zameer | 6/17/2011

    " If you liked "All Families Are Psychotic" by Douglas Coupland, you're gonna like this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 5/23/2011

    " I enjoyed this crazy family.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 5/9/2011

    " i can imagine this as a very good funny serious warm movie (I hope they'll make it into a movie) .. at the end i imagined Steve Martin as George Hall.. or someone as funny and witty as him.. i cant wait for another Mark Haddon's.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fiona | 5/8/2011

    " Excellent dialogue, lively characters, great story teller. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lormac | 5/7/2011

    " This book was difficult to take at times but truly memorable. After reading this book and "The Curious Incident", it is clear that this author has a knack for getting into the heads of people dealing with mental handicaps/illnesses, and making their thought processes accessible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sanjana | 4/27/2011

    " You've got to love a dysfunctional family. Brilliant. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanna | 4/23/2011

    " Love. This book is hysterically funny despite very serious and real subject matter. I enjoyed every page; a quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evelyn | 4/18/2011

    " A story of a recently retired man who is afraid that he has cancer, afraid that he is dying, and then figures that he is having a nervous breakdown. Entertaining and yet thoughtful. I liked it; it was an easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lia | 4/16/2011

    " Mark Haddon has a marvellous way of putting you into the mind of someone who is mentally disturbed and creating a fascinating story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 4/13/2011

    " This story was darkly funny in a very dry British way. I enjoyed it and the title is perfect. It alone makes me smile about the quirky characters and their various dramas. "

About the Author

Mark Haddon is an author, illustrator, and screenwriter. His bestselling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, was published in 2003 and won seventeen literary prizes, including the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and is an international bestseller. Mark Haddon lives in Oxford, England.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and narrator. He has earned more than fifty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration thirteen times. He was named Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008 and has been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London. He is also an actor who has appeared on both stage and television.