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Milkman: WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018 Kindle Edition
About the Author
"[Milkman] seeth[es] with black humor and adolescent anger at the adult world and its brutal absurdities. . . . For a novel about life under multifarious forms of totalitarian control--political, gendered, sectarian, communal--Milkman can be charmingly wry."--The New Yorker"Brutally intelligent. . . . At its core, Milkman is [a] wildly good and true novel of how living in fear limits people."--NPR.org "Milkman vibrates with the anxieties of our own era, from terrorism to sexual harassment to the blinding divisions that make reconciliation feel impossible. . . . It's as though the intense pressure of this place has compressed the elements of comedy and horror to produce some new alloy."--The Washington Post "Milkman is a strange animal; it asks a lot, but gives something back, too: the electric jolt of a voice that feels utterly, sensationally new."--Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A-) "[Burns'] style powerfully evokes the narrator's sense of emotional entrapment. . . . Milkman makes a passionate claim for freethinking in a place where monochromatic, us-versus-them ideology prevails."--USA Today "Milkman is a deft and triumphant work of considerable intelligence and importance. . . . It is a deeply feminist work, a compelling and significant look at how the regular life of a young woman is intimately used for personal and political gain. . . . Middle Sister is a force. She is a modern heroine."--Los Angeles Times "Few works of fiction see as clearly as this one how violence deforms social networks, enhancing, people's worst instincts. . . . This book is also bursting with energy, with tiny apertures of kindness, and a youthful kind of joy. . . . To plunge headlong into this voice now feels like a necessary reminder that one of the most complex and difficult emotions to put in a novel of darkness is joy. On that, too, perhaps especially so, Milkman is a triumph of resistance."--The Boston Globe "Milkman is a richly complex portrayal of a besieged community and its traumatized citizens, of lives lived within many concentric circles of oppression. . . . Among Burns' singular strengths as a writer is her ability to address the topics of trauma and tyranny with a playfulness that somehow never diminishes the sense of her absolute seriousness. . . . There is a pulsating menace at the heart of the book, of which the title character is an uncannily indeterminate avatar, but also a deep sadness at the human cost of conflict. . . . For all the darkness of the world it illuminates, Milkman is as strange and variegated and brilliant as a northern sunset. You just have to turn your face toward it, and give it your full attention."--Slate "This is a powerful, funny and sometimes immensely beautiful novel, with a female lead whose life is a low-key renunciation of the violence that shook her city for a generation."--Star Tribune (Minneapolis) "At once intimate and universal, historical and fabulistic and timely, unconventional and almost sentimentally hopeful."--Vulture "Milkman is an explosive novel, very much of history but not limited by the names, dates, and places of the official record. It's a more intimate work than that, and an outstanding contribution to the growing canon of nameless girl heroes."--The New Republic "This coming-of-age tale is original, timely, and ultimately rewarding."--PopMatters "Milkman vibrates. It is energized with a perspective that immerses the reader in a setting that commands attention."--Washington Independent Review of Books "[Milkman] has unmistakable force and charisma."--WBUR "The ARTery" "Timely and provocative; not to miss."--Orange County Register "Imaginative, feminist, and genre-defying. . . . Burns has conjured an extraordinary world."--The National Book Review "With an immense rush of dazzling language, Burns submerges readers beneath the tensions of life in a police state. . . . A deeply stirring, unforgettable novel that feels like a once-in-a-generation event."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Acute, chilling, and often wry. . . . The narrator of this claustrophobic yet strangely buoyant tale undergoes an unsentimental education in sexual politics. This is an unforgettable novel."--Publishers Weekly, starred review "Milkman is a uniquely meandering and mesmerizing, wonderful and enigmatic work about borders and barriers, both physical and spiritual, and the cost of survival."--Booklist, starred review "Using stream of consciousness and few if any personal names, Burns creates a musical and lyrical tour de force."--Library Journal, starred review "Eccentric and oddly beguiling. . . . What makes it memorable is the funny, alienated, common-sensical voice of middle sister, who refuses to join in the madness."--The Sunday Times (UK) "Milkman is delivered in a breathless, hectic, glorious torrent. . . . It's an astute, exquisite account of Northern Ireland's social landscape. . . . A potent and urgent book, with more than a hint of barely contained fury."--Irish Independent "I haven't stopped talking about Anna Burns's astonishing Milkman. The voice is dazzling, funny, acute. . . . Like all great writing it invents its own context, becomes its own universe."--Eoin McNamee, The Irish Times "From the opening page her words pull us into the daily violence of her world--threats of murder, people killed by state hit squads--while responding to the everyday realities of her life as a young woman."--Kwame Anthony Appiah, chair of Man Booker Prize judging panel --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B07B8WPQB8
- Publisher : Faber & Faber (15 May 2018)
- Language : English
- File size : 2086 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 361 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 46,177 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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The scenario of entrapment by parochial ignorance and wordless expectations, silence and conformity, is familiar, in this case set in the 1970s when the northern Irish troubles were serious. Depriving characters and places of identifying names, recognising people by their position in a hierarchy and places by their politico-geographic position (over the water) is clever —— and maybe that is the novel’s strength.
Anna Burns is a clever writer, entertaining with writerly skill, while forcing us to recognise in a novel about the boringly recognisable banality we endure, how the end of the world will creep up on us, like a misogynist stalker in the park, like all those protagonists involved in the violent 1970s of Northern Ireland, like Trump and other populists who are so fixed on their egos not even causing the end of life on the planet will stop them.
At first, as well as being hard to read, it was downright confusing. I had no idea what the book was about (I usually try to avoid reading the synopsis of a book if I can help it), but about 10% of the way in, I had to Google what the f*** was going on and where it was set. It turns out the book was set in Ireland in the 1970s. However, if you know nothing of the Northern Ireland conflict during this time (like me), there’s a good chance you will still be utterly confused for most of this book. I also found the technique of not giving any of the characters a name super confusing as well.
Perhaps my problem is that I read a lot of books at once, and between working and running after my toddler, I’m often only fitting in 3 pages at a time on the run. This book requires a lot more solid dedication - do not attempt to read this when you’re tired, and do not attempt to read this unless you have a good hour of uninterrupted time in which to focus.
Around 80% of the way in, it picked up a little, and I was getting semi-interested in the story… but 80% is far too late for me to consider this worth the read.
I can see the writing techniques she used were very unique, and I can see how it may have captured the attention of the Man Booker judges. But personally, it just didn’t vibe with me.
I found the work hard to read - and hard to put down. The themes of family, neigbourhood and state in contest with one another were compelling. Add to that the #metoo oppression at the core of the book and this is not a book to be taken lightly. Still for all that I laughed loud and often at the interplay between colourful characters and a personally familiar model of mothering and sistering perhaps fading into history.
I can understand the lack of resonance for those too distant from 'The Troubles' - but surely the emotional clarity of the writing on community descent into tribalism, the impact on mental health and an understanding of the ground to be made up by afflicted places surely makes the book a must read. I really can't speak highly enough of this book.
I loved that the themes of mistrust and suspicion were communicated through characters and places being referred to by their relationship to the narrator and not by their names (unless they were clearly from the OTHER side). I also loved that the seriousness of the situation was softened by being told through the quirkiness of "middle sister"'s thinking processes making palatable what otherwise might not be. After reading the first page I was excited about the estimated 13 hours of reading/listening time (and on the last page lamented the fact there wasn't 13 more!)
What a fascinating book. I'm not quite sure it's true to say I 'enjoyed' this one, but it is creative, intelligent, thought-provoking and so very well written. Told as a stream of consciousness and set in 1970's Northern Ireland, Anna Burns explores identity, politics, family, community and the social construction of reality. This is a unique, darkly comedic, powerful and intense novel that will stay with me for quite some time.
Top reviews from other countries
All we know of our narrator is that this story happens when she is just eighteen, and that she is the middle sister in a large family, with her father dead, and her mother bringing up those children still at home, with the help of our narrator, and that the family are Catholic. This story very much feels like it is being spoken to us, and this comes across in the language, which at times is rather surprising, reminding me of the use made of language in The Sisters Brothers.
Taking us back to those bad old days of sectarian violence and people living in areas of their own religion, so this reminds us all of the police and army having to fight paramilitary organisations on both sides, and although at times there are shadows of this over the story, it has to be admitted that really there is not much actual violence in this book. Of age and with men interested in her so our narrator already has her maybe-boyfriend, but also two others after her affections, both seemingly being of the IRA. Of course no one knows if they really are, or if it is just rumours, and as we see here, there is a lot of gossip and rumours throughout the story, with people worried about what they do, who they associate with and where they go. Even going to hospital is a no-no for people in the area, in case you are approached and turned into an informer.
With this as a backdrop then, we have a tale that becomes at times extremely funny, with the men being scared of women as they break curfews or protest by sitting outside a safehouse, thus putting the terrorists in a sticky situation. With rumours circulating that maybe-boyfriend has a car part with a British flag on it, so he is in danger, and with Milkman harassing our narrator so we see that she could be in a dicey situation, but will things get any better?
With the narrator’s three wee sisters, who are all aged under ten we find ourselves really drawn to them, especially to the things they say and ask, and at times using quite complex vocabulary. With women holding a certain power that they don’t always use so we can see how the men, even hardened terrorists can be put in their place, and that life goes on even under rather harsh conditions.
In all then I absolutely love this book and am glad that it won, otherwise I probably would never have got around to reading it. This is something that should do well with book groups, and is a real joy to read, so if like me you love reading then you can’t really go wrong with this, and it is something that will stay in your mind long after you turn the last page.
I have no idea how to describe this book – it is so strange and dystopian and hypnotising and scary and funny with heart full of black humour.
As usual, I did not read any reviews or synopsis before starting the book – and it took me until page 96 to realise... this is [Northern] Ireland! With all this talk about religion, a dozen of kids per household and occasional mention of bombings. And then there is our protagonist, 18-year old maybe-girlfriend of her maybe-boyfriend, sister to wee sisters and older sisters, daughter of Ma, student of French and an avid reader, also a love interest of some military guerrilla, aka Milkman.
"Milkman" is not an easy read, but it is good. It is quirky, strange and surprisingly delightful. Did I mention the sarcasm and black humour? In abundance!
I could not put it better than the Guardian: despite the surreality, everything about this novel rings true.
Reminded me of? At some point I thought of "1984".