Men det er flere problemer i Georges liv.
- Hans kone Jean er utro. Hun står i med en av Georges tidligere kolleger.
- Deres meget vanskelige datter Katie skal gifte seg igjen. Hun er enslig mor og har nå blitt sammen med Ray som er snill, rik, sterk men ganske harry. Familien sliter med å akseptere forholdet og gruer seg til brylluppet.
- Deres sønn er homofil og lever sammen med sin kjæreste Tony. George har egentlig ikke så store problemer med homofili, men helt problemfritt er det ikke for ham.
"It was the though of men purchasing furniture together which disturbed him. Men snuggling.... It gave him the unpleasant feeling that there was a weaknes in the very fabric of the world".
Men når Tony finner ut at han ikke blir invitert i Katies bryllup så sprekker forholdet deres. Og da får George enda mere å slite med.
Mark Haddons forrige bok, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" var en stor suksess. Den beskrev en kriminalgåte som løses av en gutt med Aspergers syndrom. Heldigvis har han ikke prøvd å skrive en bok til i samme genre. Istedet har han skrevet en veldig morsom og veldig engelsk bok. En Nick Hornby på speed.
Kan kjøpes på play.com.
Recent retiree George Hall, convinced that his eczema is cancer, goes into a tailspin in Haddon's (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) laugh-out-loud slice of British domestic life. George, 61, is clearly channeling a host of other worries into the discoloration on his hip (the "spot of bother"): daughter Katie, who has a toddler, Jacob, from her disastrous first-marriage to the horrid Graham, is about to marry the equally unlikable Ray; inattentive wife Jean is having an affair—with George's former co-worker, David Symmonds; and son Jamie doesn't think George is OK with Jamie's being queer. Haddon gets into their heads wonderfully, from Jean's waffling about her affair to Katie's being overwhelmed (by Jacob, and by her impending marriage) and Jamie's takes on men (and boyfriend Tony in particular, who wants to come to the wedding). Mild-mannered George, meanwhile, despairing over his health, slinks into a depression; his major coping strategies involve hiding behind furniture on all fours and lowing like a cow. It's an odd, slight plot—something like the movie Father of the Bride crossed with Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" (as skin rash)—but it zips along, and Haddon subtly pulls it all together with sparkling asides and a genuine sympathy for his poor Halls. No bother at all, this comic follow-up to Haddon's blockbuster (and nicely selling book of poems) is great fun. (Sept.)
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