David Annand

Having a Wales of a Time

The Red House

By

Jonathan Cape 264pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

I don’t suffer from synaesthesia, but occasionally I find that novels evoke colours, or at least a colour scheme. James Salter’s Light Years comes to me as if through a filter that turns everything a soft crepuscular yellow; Woolf’s The Waves is a murky, mythic, Pre-Raphaelitish green; Wallace’s Infinite Jest is similar but kaleidoscopic, packed with vibrant colours like the hundreds and thousands on children’s ice cream. This is pretty much the opposite of The Red House, Mark Haddon’s new book, which, despite its name, will be forever fixed in my mind as a washed-out blue-grey, the colour dramas used to be on BBC Two. 

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