A man in his 60s, Daniel known to nearly all, including his own son, as Beede works in the laundry of a local hospital and is widely recognized as a community activist, amateur historian and generally good-hearted, if irascible, fellow. His son is an affable layabout who makes his living dealing illegally in prescription drugs. The novel opens with the two swilling execrable coffee and near-flat Pepsi in a motorway restaurant, where each is awaiting his own private assignation.
But to suggest that this dazzling, complex novel has anything quite as conventional as a plot would be misleading. A red kite falls from the sky with its eyes gouged out. Pets are stolen and planted in the homes of other people, including the paralysed spaniel Michelle who can only walk by supporting her back legs on a wheeled trolley. Characters stutter for no reason and begin to choke out words from the English language of centuries past, or become suddenly obsessed with etymology — because the language of the past haunts the present just like Scogin does.
There is no point me going on, because there is so much more to Darkmans than I can even begin to indicate here. Read it or regret it. Then re-read it. There are a hundred things to discover on every page. Labels: books darkmans nicola barker reviews. Post a Comment.
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