The Red House

I’ve just finished reading The Red House, Mark Haddon’s third novel. Poor man. Must be such a shame, writing a smash hit first time round, but he’s not daft, and he doesn’t go in for repeating himself. This is an ensemble piece, about eight characters from two related families, where Haddon moves rapidly between the thoughts of of these parents and children, crammed together for a week’s holiday in a rented house near Hay on Wye. It’s not stunning, or brilliant, or overwhelming, but it is consistently interesting and intelligent, full of wise touches and realistic sympathy.