Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Darkmans is an exhilarating, extraordinary examination of the ways in which history can play jokes on us all... If History is just a sick joke which keeps on repeating itself, then who exactly might be telling it, and why? Could it be John Scogin, Edward IV's... show more
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Darkmans is an exhilarating, extraordinary examination of the ways in which history can play jokes on us all... If History is just a sick joke which keeps on repeating itself, then who exactly might be telling it, and why? Could it be John Scogin, Edward IV's infamous court jester, whose favorite pastime was to burn people alive - for a laugh? Or could it be Andrew Boarde, Henry VIII's physician, who kindly wrote John Scogin's biography? Or could it be a tiny Kurd called Gaffar whose days are blighted by an unspeakable terror of - uh - salad? Or a beautiful, bulimic harpy with ridiculously weak bones? Or a man who guards Beckley Woods with a Samurai sword and a pregnant terrier? Darkmans is a very modern book, set in Ashford [a ridiculously modern town], about two very old-fashioned subjects: love and jealousy. It's also a book about invasion, obsession, displacement and possession, about comedy, art, prescription drugs and chiropody. And the main character? The past, which creeps up on the present and whispers something quite dark - quite unspeakable - into its ear. The third of Nicola Barker's narratives of the Thames Gateway, Darkmans is an epic novel of startling originality.
Publish date: November 27th 2007
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Pages no: 848
Edition language: English
Series: Thames Gateway (#3)
I loved every moment of reading this book. While I was away from it I needed to get back to it, which for me, is my definition of a supremely successful novel.
A strange book, which can be funny, moving, thought-provoking – as well as frustrating. But then it is set in Ashford, which is all of those things and less. The plot is hard to summarise, although as a reader you'll probably be more preoccupied with unpicking the Byzantine web of connections which ...
Anytime I see a book this size I think: "What was that you had to say that you needed more than 800 pages to do it?". And I am intrigued, because, surely, it must be something magnificent to justify the magnificent size. On the other hand I know that I suffer from severe obsessive-compulsive disorde...
I finished Darkmans by Nicola Barker. I loved it. It's wonderfully written, extremely modern, yet steeped in medieval ties & references. The story wanders amongst a diverse & unique group of characters, who surprise in quite a few ways. This is a book I could read more than once & get more out of it...
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