DarkmansBook - 2011 | Fouth Estate paperback edition.
Shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize, an epic novel of startling originality which confirms Nicola Barker as one of Britain's most exciting literary talents.
If history is a sick joke which keeps on repeating, then who keeps on telling it? Could it be John Scogin, Edward IV's jester, whose favourite skit was to burn people alive? Or could it be Andrew Boarde, physician to Henry VIII, who wrote John Scogin's biography? Or could it be a Kurd called Gaffar whose days are blighted by an unspeakable terror of salad? Or a beautiful bulimic with brittle bones? Or a man who guards Beckley Woods with a Samurai sword and a pregnant terrier?
Darkmans is a very modern book, set in ridiculously modern Ashford, about two old-fashioned subjects: love and jealousy. And the main character? The past, creeping up on the present and whispering something quite dark into its ear.
Darkmans is the third of Nicola Barker's visionary Thames Gateway novels. Following Wide Open (winner Dublin IMPAC award 2000) and Behindlings it confirms one of Britain's most original literary talents.
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It went without saying that the Chunnel (now a source of such unalloyed national complacency and pride) had caused huge headaches - and terrible heartache - in East Kent ...
When the developer's plans for the new Folkestone Terminal were initially proposed, however, it quickly became apparent that all this was soon about to change. Several farms and properties (not least, the many charming, if ramshackle homes in the idiosyncratic Kentish hamlet of Danton Pinch) were to be sacrificed to the terminal approach and concourse, not to mention over 500 acres of prime farmland and woodland, as well as all remaining evidence of the old Elham Valley Railway (built in 1884, disused since 1947). But worse still, the access road from the terminal to the M20 was due to cut a wide path straight between Newington and Peene, thereby cruelly separating them, forever.
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