A Novel

Book - 2018
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'Milkman is extraordinary. I've been reading passages aloud for the pleasure of hearing it. It's frightening, hilarious, wily and joyous all at the same time.' - Lisa McInerney, author of The Glorious Heresies

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous.

Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota : Graywolf Press, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780571342730
Characteristics: 352 pages ;,21 cm


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Jul 08, 2019

Original writing but not easy reading. In talking to my sister who has been to Northern Ireland it captures beautifully the paranoia, fear and violence of The Troubles which have lasted until today.

May 24, 2019

namelessness makes sense in this difficult story of crazy-making times
I admit to getting lost but then again finding my way through the dangers, the exasperation, and the dark humour among the families and neighborhoods under siege.
the novel was both specific and universal

May 23, 2019

Unreadable. Gave up after 100 pages. Not interesting and unbelievably pretentious.

Tigard_SeanG May 06, 2019

With "Milkman," Anna Burns stands beside other great novelists of Ireland's Troubles such as J.G. Farrell and Thomas Flanagan.

May 06, 2019

Fascinating story about the “troubles” in Northern Ireland during the 1970s, written from the perspective of a determined teenage girl. Both interesting and unusual.

Apr 28, 2019

Man Booker Winner. This novel is set in the 1970s in Northern Ireland, but it could be any time, any place characterized by violence, patriarchy and an authoritarian or tribal culture. No names are used, which means it could be anywhere. The story is told by an 18 year old girl who "absents" herself from her environment. The almost stream of consciousness means that the reader becomes immersed in this world. Interesting and a worthy Booker winner.

Apr 25, 2019

Terrific feminist antiwar novel.

Apr 13, 2019

Difficult to read but clever and rather sucked me into it's craziness

Apr 02, 2019

Wonderful. Quirky, original, menacing, moving. A glimpse into the lives of communities affected by the Troubles in Ireland, and a moving testament to human endurance and coping.

Mar 26, 2019

I had more trouble with this book than any other I have finished. Many times I decided to stop reading, but I persisted. The author gives 'stream of consciousness' a bad name because it is so methodical. Each adjective in every sentence is either rephrased or repeated in at least 3 different ways. It's OCD behavior. It does pad the pages, but is a nightmare to read. I think it is to mask the slight story it hides.

I say slight because the tale is simple and pops up only every so often, and ends with a whimper. What the novel does well is to expose the insidious nature of living in a closed society surrounded by oppression from the government to the paramilitary to the renouncers and even down to the hive mind of maintaining status quo by innuendo and gossip.

The Brits, in this case, are the cause of the Troubles, or the Sorrows. They picked this novel as a winner to expiate their guilt for their part in this tragedy. They didn't actually read the novel but chose it for the subject.

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