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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Anyone read Nicola Barker's new thingy?

It's astonishing. Probably the best British novel I've read of the last ten years. A story of drug-dealing, chiropody, etymology, and madness. A whodunnit where the culprit is history itself. A dizzying lurch through the subconscious of the Thames estuary...

I had read Clear by her before, which was very clever, but pretty lightweight. This is... just... magnificent.

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Pants
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I read 'Five Miles From Outer Hope' and it totally put me off her. Seriously irritating 'look-at-me-aren't I-clever' writing style. Does 'Darkmans' have the same style, Toro?
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Bit of a U-turn, then? (last post)

Yeah, I haven't read that, but I know what you mean about the style. It's far less obtrusive than in Clear, at any rate, and far more helpful to the narrative, given how much of it is concerned with the weird edges of the characters' conscious motivations.

[ 15.11.2007, 17:32: Message edited by: Toroweap Fault ]

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Gangster Octopus
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Did you remember that, or search for it?
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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I looked before I started the thread to see had there been a previous Nicola Barker discussion.
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Gangster Octopus
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I thought it'd been an impressive feat of memory...

That link has another link to the lifetime of that magazine Carcass edited. I'd forgotten that whole thing.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Jesus, I can barely remember yesterday...
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Pants
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Ha ha, brilliant! Yeah, it's a fair cop guv, it was a total U-turn. Basically, I loved 'Five Miles From Outer Hope' for the first 50 pages but then the style really started to grate. By the end of the book I wanted to throttle Nicola Barker. The irritating narrator did remind me of Morvern Callar, but I'm sorry I ever mentioned 'Vernon God Little'. VGL is in a different league to either of those books.
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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For me, she totally has the style under control by Darkmans, but I can see how it would be as annoying as hell before she learned to use it properly...
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Crusoe
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Finished it. Very enjoyable; I'm still not sure what it was about, but enjoyed it nonetheless - a mix of Twin Peaks and Hollyoaks, it felt like at times.
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lyra
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I just started this. really liking it so far. I like the precision.
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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From the graun;

quote:
Harriet Lane: Writer
Years ago, I was given Nicola Barker's novel, Five Miles from Outer Hope, to review. After 10 minutes on the sofa, I was longing to hurl the novel, with force, at the wall. Conscious that a fellow human had toiled over it for months, possibly years, I raised my violent feelings with my editor, but he insisted that I file a review. I started off by saying lots of nice things about Barker's exuberant imagination and zest for wordplay, but finally my irritation stormed the copy. "Quite early on, Barker's arch, flamboyant, look-at-me playfulness starts to get in the way of her characters ... It's inventive, and my, it's original, but it's also strikingly self-conscious." On publication, Barker sent the literary editor a hate limerick. "Pity poor Harriet Lane/With her prose so unstructured and plain ..." . Sadly, I can't remember the rest. Maybe she had a point. What do I know? I'm not a novelist, just a reader of novels.



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