Liked It2 of 2 members found this review helpful
“I liked the ride on this one a lot, though I can’t easily predict which friends wouldn’t be equally pleased. There is a lot to be said about trusting a good chef to know what to serve. So one should release expectations before cracking this book. There is no wondrous Asperger savant kid in...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It1 of 2 members found this review helpful
“I only about 20 pages, and could not make heads nor tails of it. Very confusing, and did not engage me at all.”see full review » see other reviews »
“A little bit of a disjointed tale but a good read ”Debbie wrote this review 12 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Read about 1/3 of it, couldn't make myself read more. Too disjointed for me.”Sue B wrote this review Monday, November 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Fantastic novel of family and relationships, memories and secrets, and how people can see both themselves and each other completely differently. I have just zoomed through this book in two days having found it almost impossible to put down once I started reading. Haddon has a wonderful way of being able to understand people. Admittedly, not a lot actually happens so if you prefer action thrillers, this probably isn't the book for you, but if you like insightful portrayals of contemporary family life, give The Red House a try.”Steph B wrote this review Sunday, October 27, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It's little tiring to get your head around as the scenes and tenses keep on flipping between paragraphs. It's almost as if Mark Haddon is attempting to show off. At least, however, it's written uniquely, and that should perhaps stand for something. Importantly, although I wasn't enjoying the book at first, it actually became quite engrossing. His characters are so well described that it became quite easy to like them. If you have patience with books, this is definitely worth the read as it starkly funny, warming, vivid and almost endearing.”Guillematt_UK wrote this review Tuesday, August 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Hated it. Struggled all the way through it. Dysfunctional family, confusing to read. ”Rose M wrote this review Wednesday, July 3, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Quirky but good. A very dysfunctional family but elements of the dysfunction of all families and all of us are present.”TechWriter wrote this review Wednesday, July 3, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very well written, almost ambient and poetic in places. It does sort of fade out at the end so not quite five stars.”Superenigmatix wrote this review Monday, June 10, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I only about 20 pages, and could not make heads nor tails of it. Very confusing, and did not engage me at all.”Wendy C wrote this review Sunday, February 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Yet another 'different' book from Mark Haddon. It read more like a series of pen pictures, some in story form, some in the form of poetry which took me some time to get used to. I can't say it was enjoyable but it was interesting, quirky and entertaining”largo wrote this review Saturday, February 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I almost didn’t finish this book.
By rights I should have loved this new book by Mark Haddon. I’ve read three of his previous novels: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (a YA story about an autistic boy trying to solve the murder of his neighbor’s dog) and Boom! (a story for slightly younger children about two boys who discover that two of their teachers are aliens) as well as A Spot of Bother (an (adult) story about a family). I loved the first two, and liked the last one.
But no, after 50 pages of The Red Hosue I had enough. I was irritated by the shift in viewpoints twice a page on average. There were eight main characters, and to shift from one to the other and back again after only one or two paragraphs, became unpleasant.
Also, I didn’t like the way some of these paragraphs were written. Paragraphs that were just a summing up of what a character was seeing around them, smelling, feeling, etc. Paragraphs just reporting from the book that one of the characters was reading. The novelty factor wore off really, really fast.
Although I was reading the Dutch translation, I found it really hard going. I was certainly glad I hadn’t gone for the English original!
I didn’t love it, but I got used to the shift in viewpoint. I even became curious about the story and the people in it. The characters were very real people, believable. The situation, a brother and sister that don’t meet up very often, taking a holiday home together with their spouses and children, was believable as well.
The family relations were very well described. Slowly but surely these people who didn’t have much in common started to care for each other or find fault lines in their relationships where they didn’t suspect any. I think if it wasn’t for the way it was written, I would have loved this book.