I looked at A Spot of Bother when it was released, as I really like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. But the summary didn’t grab me. Then it was picked for my book club and I loved it.
The premise is that a recently retired man is having extreme anxiety attacks and not getting effective help for them. In the meantime, his family is unbelievably obnoxious. A wedding is approaching, or maybe not and hijincks ensue.
The first thing that I loved and hated in an archetypal high-school English sort of way is that the narrative of the crazy guy often sounds more sane than the narratives of the others. Even when (SPOILER ALERT) he catches his wife in the sack with a colleague. So I could almost see how his obscenely self-absorbed family would miss the fact the he is mentally unravelling. That is until (MORE SPOILERS) he tries to amputate the cancer from his body that isn’t even cancer. With a pair of scissors.
That is a pretty serious sign, people.
The tension builds well and speeds toward a pretty impressive climax. It was rather hard to put down, actually. Then it was all tied up with a bow. Which was fine. Great read.