Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Ha-Ha

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Ha-Ha

by Dave King

The Ha-Ha by Dave King X
The Ha-Ha by Dave King
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2005, 352 pages

    Paperback:
    Mar 2006, 368 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

This article relates to The Ha-Ha

Print Review

A ha-ha, or haha (supposedly named for the reaction people had on seeing one), is essentially a large ditch built in place of a fence, to give the appearance that the garden and surrounding lands are as one. It seems that they were introduced into the UK from France in the 18th century by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, or possibly earlier by Charles Bridgeman. They were part of a movement in gardening away from formal gardens to a more 'natural' style of landscaping.

As King says, 'there's an actual ha-ha (in the novel), of course, and it plays a major role in the story, but the symbolic relevance is the presence of a huge unaddressed fissure—traumatic brain injury—in the landscape of the protagonist's life.'

When asked where the idea for his first novel came from he replied, 'My brother Hank was autistic; he was six years older than me. When Hank was alive, I never imagined him going to Vietnam. There were suggestions that if he hadn't been autistic, he would have been the golden boy—big and strong and good-looking and sweet-tempered. When he passed away in 1993, I began for the first time to contemplate what his life could have been like. I remember thinking, he was the one who would have had to deal with Vietnam. And that intrigued me.'

Filed under

This article relates to The Ha-Ha. It first ran in the March 2, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Poet's House
    The Poet's House
    by Jean Thompson
    Seasoned author Jean Thompson's previous novels include A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl, The Humanity...
  • Book Jacket
    Some of It Was Real
    by Nan Fischer
    Nan Fischer is an Oregon Book Award finalist for her previous novels When Elephants Fly and The ...
  • Book Jacket: The Most Precious Substance on Earth
    The Most Precious Substance on Earth
    by Shashi Bhat
    Think of all the worst parts of puberty — all the moments you partially miss or brood about ...
  • Book Jacket
    Lightning Strike
    by William Kent Krueger
    It is the summer of 1963 in Tamarack County, Minnesota. Just outside the small town of Aurora, ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
All the Lonely People
by Mike Gayle
A cozy novel for fans of A Man Called Ove. A widowed retiree will rediscover the world he’s turned his back on.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Dirt Creek
    by Hayley Scrivenor

    "A heart-wrenching mystery, Scrivenor's remarkable sense of place brings Dirt Creek to life. A stellar debut."
    —Jane Harper,

  • Book Jacket

    Widowland
    by C. J. Carey

    A thrilling feminist dystopian novel set in an alternate 1950s Britain under the control of the Third Reich.

Who Said...

The dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wishes W H B W R

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.