Nicola Barker Behindlings

ISBN 13: 9780007135264

Behindlings

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9780007135264: Behindlings
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A brilliantly funny novel from one of our most unconventional literary talents, Nicola Barker. Some people follow the stars. Some people follow the soaps. Some people follow rare birds, or obscure bands, or the form, or the football. Wesley prefers not to follow. He thinks that to follow anything too assiduously is a sign of weakness. Wesley is a prankster, a maverick, a charismatic manipulator, an accidental murderer who longs to live his life anonymously. But he can't. It is his awful destiny to be hotly pursued - secretly stalked, obsessively hunted - by a disparate group of oddballs he calls The Behindlings. Their motivations? Love, boredom, hatred, revenge.

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Review:

Behindlings, the fifth novel from Nicola Barker, is a welcome return, both in mood and in geography, to the gothic terrain of her Impac Prize winner Wide Open. Set in parochial Canvey Island, Essex, this book is inventive, funny, unnerving, and often magnificently strange.

Barker's Canvey (once dubbed "Candy Island" by Daniel Defoe) is, with its Wimpy Bar, dreary pubs, and long-cherished grudges, rumours, and secrets, a quintessentially English small town. Its emotionally damaged population is augmented by the "Behindlings" of the title, a gaggle of oddballs who follow, or more precisely obsessively stalk, the novel's enigmatic central character, Wesley. The architect of a chocolate company-funded treasure hunt, author of a pseudo-Nietzschean walking guide and the man behind the daring theft of an antique pond, he is a rather malevolent Pied Piper. Part Alvin Toffler-quoting, peripatetic environmental visionary, part immoral (and maybe downright evil) fraudster, he's also notorious for feeding the fingers on his right hand to an eagle owl "in an act of penance" for accidentally killing his brother.

Barker has always had a penchant for the surreal, and occasionally here both plot and characterization can get swamped in flights of absurdist imagination. She is perhaps too fond of the elaborate simile. The clackety, clackety of the "like" and "as" of her prose style is, from time to time, a little exasperating. Despite this, her narrative is so alluringly, so charmingly odd, bristling with puzzles and etymological games and full of wonderfully, devilishly comic touches, that it's easy to ignore its minor flaws. --Travis Elborough, Amazon.co.uk

About the Author:

Nicola Barker was born in Ely in 1966 and spent part of her childhood in South Africa. She lives and works in east London. She was the winner of the David Higham Prize for Fiction and joint winner of the Macmillan Silver Pen Award for Love Your Enemies, her first collection of stories (1993). Her first novel Reversed Forecast was published in 1994 and a short novel Small Holdings followed in 1995. A second collection of short stories Heading Inland, for which Nicola received an Arts Council Writers' Award, and received the 1997 John Llewellyn Rhys/Mail on Sunday Prize. Her story `Symbiosis' was filmed and broadcast on BBC2; another story, `Dual Balls', was commissioned for broadcast on Channel 4 and shortlisted for a BAFTA Award. Her third novel Wide Open was published in 1998, and won the English-speaking world's biggest literary award for a single work, the IMPAC Prize. In 2000 she published another short novel, Five Miles from Outer Hope. Her fifth novel, Behindlings, was published in 2002 and the following novel, Clear, was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2004. Darkmans, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2007, the 2008 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Award and won the Hawthornden Prize for 2008. Most recently, Barker's work THE YIPS has been longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2012. She was named as one of the 20 Best Young British Novelists by Granta in 2005. Her work has been translated into over a dozen languages.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780060185695: Behindlings: A Novel

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ISBN 10:  0060185694 ISBN 13:  9780060185695
Publisher: Ecco, 2003
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Harper..., 2003
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9780002005418: Behindlings

Harper..., 2003
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9780007135257: Behindlings

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A brilliantly funny novel from one of our most unconventional literary talents, Nicola Barker. Some people follow the stars. Some people follow the soaps. Some people follow rare birds, or obscure bands, or the form, or the football. Wesley prefers not to follow. He thinks that to follow anything too assiduously is a sign of weakness. Wesley is a prankster, a maverick, a charismatic manipulator, an accidental murderer who longs to live his life anonymously. But he can t. It is his awful destiny to be hotly pursued - secretly stalked, obsessively hunted - by a disparate group of oddballs he calls The Behindlings. Their motivations? Love, boredom, hatred, revenge. Seller Inventory # AA89780007135264

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A brilliantly funny novel from one of our most unconventional literary talents, Nicola Barker. Some people follow the stars. Some people follow the soaps. Some people follow rare birds, or obscure bands, or the form, or the football. Wesley prefers not to follow. He thinks that to follow anything too assiduously is a sign of weakness. Wesley is a prankster, a maverick, a charismatic manipulator, an accidental murderer who longs to live his life anonymously. But he can t. It is his awful destiny to be hotly pursued - secretly stalked, obsessively hunted - by a disparate group of oddballs he calls The Behindlings. Their motivations? Love, boredom, hatred, revenge. Seller Inventory # AA89780007135264

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