Darkmans – Nicola Barker (2007)


Today I finished the recent novel ‘Darkmans’ by English author Nicola Barker.  I first heard of this book in a couple entries in the recent ‘best of 2007’ issue of the Times Literary Supplement, and I’m glad I discovered it.

The book is long (838 pages), and is somewhat eccentrically laid out, with novel paragraph indentations and internal ‘thought breaks’.  The story concerns a number of people in the English town of Ashford, which is located near one end of the ‘Chunnel’, their relationships today with each other and with the past.  There are also a lot of investigations of the evolution of language, and an underlying network of connections that takes the whole book to begin to untangle.

In some ways a pretty easy read, but with levels that are not immediately obvious, I think this book is worth reading for its ambitions and challenges – state of the art fiction as of 2008.

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  • spleengrrrl  On August 19, 2009 at 8:08 am

    I loved the book too. But maybe you can help me out. What actually HAPPENS to them? To Beede and Dory? What is the deal with Fleet’s “paternity” and was Dory involved in Peta’s double-bluff scheme? I guess I’m dense ’cause I didn’t get any answers. 😦

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