I guess The Curious Incident etc.etc. is a hard book to follow, and for me, nothing else I’ve read by Mark Haddon matches the quality of that book. So, sadly, I was disappointed with The Red House. For me this is a book that lacked person authenticity, it kept trying to convince me that the characters mattered, that what took place on a family holiday was worthy of the prose but did not quite do it.
I found myself wondering why a red house, why this and why that as character after character was examined and found a little bit wanting. Yes, this is what happens when families spend time together, especially holiday time together, but all at once, mmm, I’m not so sure.
I liked the lack of resolution –after life is like that, and the setting felt real, indeed it was real, and the description of Hay on Wye appealed. Overall, though, I was reminded of comments often made about my poems –’you need to focus on one thing’ and ‘don’t try to bring everything into one piece of writing’ … this book had too much width and insufficient depth to make it a good read.