Darkmans, Nicola BarkerIf you wanted to get specific about it (and Beede always got specific) his life and his career had been irreparably blighted by the arrival of the Channel Tunnel; more specifically, by the eleventh-hour re-routing of the the new Folkestone Terminal's access road from the north to the south of the tiny, nondescript Kentish village of Newington (where Beede's maternal grandmother had once lived) in 1986.Then under that: ..................
PPS. Going to Africa to become a Saint! [followed by a little drawing of Africa - which looked nothing like Africa - with a small halo above it]
It is fitting that a novel where language is such an obsession plays with it, recreating it, until it is almost a dialect of its own. It's a book I love, a modern book, a tricky a book, a book with unlikeable characters, a confusing plot (if there is a plot at all) and no real resolution. It's a book about history, primarily, but more than anything else, a book about how history shapes the future, plays with the future, and how we use it to our own ends.
There are references in this book to Alias, of all things, and on one page there is a specific website, a url address, which I don't think I've ever seen before. It is totally, pressingly now
, and I wonder how it will age. It's a funny novel, but its also very dark, and one scene in particular I found very disturbing.
I've only just finished it, so my thoughts are still a little scattered, but to conclude...
I think it's just a step short of greatness. It is very good, very good indeed, but there is just... something that is missing. That said, I think she's a fascinating writer, and its an achievement in and of itself that it is a novel compelling enough to demand my attention less than 10 months after I first read it. And I can't wait to read it again.