Spurting with kinetic energy, nasty wit, and kindness to animals, Wesley ought to be a star. Or so it seems to the "Behindlings" -- followers who nip at his heels, turn up everywhere he goes, and lie in wait for him around every corner. They skulk through the dreary streets of their tiny English town, gathering their own scabby intentions, irritating habits, and weird manners, burying all differences in the common pursuit of their true prize, their Wesley.
In Behindlings, the inimitable and ungovernable Nicola Barker takes her most compelling character to date, gives him his head and her novel, and sees him run off with her readers.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
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.ukAbout the Author:
NICOLA BARKER is perhaps the most gifted young English female writer at work today. Wesley, perhaps the most gifted young English male character at work today, first made his debut in Nicola's story collection Heading Inland, in 1996. Her other published story collections are Love Your Enemies (1992), Small Holdings (1995) and Five Miles from Outer Hope (2000). Her previous novels are Reversed Forecast (1994) and Wide Open (1998). Her work is translated into more than a dozen languages. In 2000, she won the English-speaking world's largest prize for a single work of fiction, the IMPAC Award, for Wide Open.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Harper Perennial. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear and the pages have only minimal creases. Bookseller Inventory # G0060933623I3N00
Book Description Harper Perennial, 2003. Book Condition: GOOD. book was well loved but cared for. Possible ex-library copy with all the usual markings and stickers. Some light textual notes, highlighting and underling. Bookseller Inventory # 2642471799
Book Description Harper Perennial. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Light shelving wear with minimal damage to cover and bindings. Pages show minor use. Bookseller Inventory # G0060933623I3N00
Book Description Harper Perennial. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G0060933623I3N00
Book Description Harper Perennial. Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. May have light creases on the cover and binding. Some pages may contain writing and or highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 2681805428
Book Description Harper Perennial, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0060933623
Book Description HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS, 2003. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Good. TRADE PAPERBACK Legendary independent bookstore online since 1994. Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy. Used. Book: USED, Good. Bookseller Inventory # 02978006093362305. Bookseller Inventory # 02978006093362305
Book Description Ecco Press, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: VG. 535pp. remities lightly chipped; bottom of spine bumped; remainder stripe bottom edge. Bookseller Inventory # 083439
Book Description Book Condition: Good. Book Condition: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 97800609336234.0
Book Description Book Condition: Very Good. Book Condition: Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # 97800609336233.0