Darkmans – Nicola Barker



The reality of English families set over two days in a small town in England, with a hovering jester haunting every page.

“A jester haunts this book, possessing the characters at inconvenient moments, forcing broken language out of their mouths and “ducking and diving between the words … deceiving and then disappearing”.

“He haunts the lives of many characters, a collection of interesting folk living in Ashby, England. A erratic, embitted old man; a dealer of prescription drugs; a chiropodist with mysterious bruises; a husband with schizophrenia; and a gifted but eccentric boy building cathedrals of matchsticks. The jester is the weight of history bearing down upon them, he is the language that links past and present. He is prank puller and the instigator of many comedic moments in this book that celebrates life in all its glory, both uneasy and honest.”

“This book was a bit mad but I loved it.  It was a massive commitment during a Bookerthon due to the length but definitely worth it.” – Suzy

“This was an epic read and there was a lot going on, but it was quite different to most novels (right down to the font!) and that made it intriguing. As two families go about their daily business, which is identifiable to us all, there is a ghostly jester who haunts the book, forcing characters to say weird things and moving items about in true supernatural style. You certainly had to be invested in the 800-odd pages to get the most out of it. It was tough to give it the attention it deserved due to time restraints with our Bookerthon reading, so I’d recommend picking up this book when your reading time is ample.” – Rachel

Published 2007
Fourth Estate
848 pages

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