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Extended Audio Sample The Red House: A Novel, by Mark Haddon Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (4,892 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Haddon Narrator: Maxwell Caulfield Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An dazzlingly inventive novel about modern family, from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The set-up of Mark Haddon's brilliant new novel is simple: Richard, a wealthy doctor, invites his estranged sister Angela and her family to join his for a week at a vacation home in the English countryside. Richard has just re-married and inherited a willful stepdaughter in the process; Angela has a feckless husband and three children who sometimes seem alien to her. The stage is set for seven days of resentment and guilt, a staple of family gatherings the world over.

But because of Haddon's extraordinary narrative technique, the stories of these eight people are anything but simple. Told through the alternating viewpoints of each character, The Red House becomes a symphony of long-held grudges, fading dreams and rising hopes, tightly-guarded secrets and illicit desires, all adding up to a portrait of contemporary family life that is bittersweet, comic, and deeply felt. As we come to know each character they become profoundly real to us. We understand them, even as we come to realize they will never fully understand each other, which is the tragicomedy of every family. 

The Red House is a literary tour-de-force that illuminates the puzzle of family in a profoundly empathetic manner -- a novel sure to entrance the millions of readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Absorbing…Brilliant…Haddon wends a careful path in this novel between the effervescent comedy of quirky families and the bitter tragedy of dysfunctional ones.”

    Washington Post

  • “Haddon delivers a story of remarkable complexity, exploring the rich interior lives of his characters…Impressive.”

    USA Today

  • “Particularly fresh and true.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “A chaotic but truthful portrait of what family means in this narcissistic age: less a cohesive whole than a group of individuals bumping against each other with their own needs, disappointments and…victories.”

    Seattle Times

  • “In this absorbing, Virginia Woolf-esque novel…an extended family gathers for a week in the English countryside. Perfect (or not) for that holiday with the in-laws.”


  • “The story unfolds from all eight characters’ points of view, a tricky strategy that pays off, letting Haddon dig convincingly into all of the failures, worries, and weaknesses that they can’t leave behind.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Engaging…The quality of the writing allows us to know this extended clan, who are on a week’s holiday, better than they know each other.”

    Independent (London)

  • “The language of [The Red House] is wonderful—particular, vivid, attentive.”

    Plain Dealer

  • “Each of the characters acts as a splintered bit of mirror for the others, so that the reader sees them all from multiple perspectives…Satisfying and believable…Haddon writes with a gentle, compassionate sense of irony.”

    Columbus Dispatch

  • “Haddon peers inside the messy dynamics of a group of relatives, each grappling with their own fears and trying to make sense of themselves as a family…[The novel] braids together themes of sexual identity, parental insecurity, and sibling rivalry, and no one gets away unscathed.”


  • “Haddon delights in winkling…social misfits out of their natural habitats and thrusting them into very English comedies of discombobulation and befuddlement.”

    New York Times

  • “[Haddon] writes like a dream. Never showy, but often lyrically descriptive, he takes the reader with him to the core of this crazy family…He has a true understanding of the human heart.”

    Spectator (London)

  • Selected for the June 2012 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, June 2012
  • A 2012 Washington Post Best Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Pamela Ober | 2/17/2014

    " Amazing book. I love all of Mark Haddon's novels -- they are all completely different and all really really well done. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Amy Hyde | 2/5/2014

    " A difficult read. It skips to different characters, but they are all hard to follow. I didn't ahve any idea what was going on and wasn't enjoying it...so...gave it up! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Marian | 1/30/2014

    " Ack! Terrible - the writing style was so confusing and hard to follow. Half way through, I finally gave myself permission not to know whose POV each paragraph followed - simply for the sake of getting through it for book club. Completely self-absorbed and unlikable characters, nothing in terms of a plot, and too much fixation on semi-incestual sexual relationships. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Vesnick | 1/22/2014

    " This story was nothing like the Curious incident... But it was still an interesting depiction of a modern family with all its represed problems and issues that are always on the verge of explosion but never seem to be able to escape... And just like in real life, stories don't necessarily have happy endings... "

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