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
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2005, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2006, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

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.'

This article is from the March 2, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Forest Dark
    Forest Dark
    by Nicole Krauss
    In Forest Dark, Nicole Krauss presents parallel stories of two people who leave New York to stay in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Amber Shadows
    The Amber Shadows
    by Lucy Ribchester
    The Amber Shadows sweeps readers into the realm of World War II-era Britain where Honor "Honey" ...
  • Book Jacket: Midwinter Break
    Midwinter Break
    by Bernard MacLaverty
    Northern Ireland's Bernard MacLaverty is the author of five novels and multiple short story ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.