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Milkman by Anna Burns

Milkman (2018)

by Anna Burns

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4993130,474 (3.85)79
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    Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (thorold)
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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I listened to the audio version and just COULD NOT get into it. I feel bad!
I will give it two stars for the great cover and title. ( )
  LASMIT | Mar 19, 2019 |
Main character is an 18 year old woman, living in an unnamed society under siege. Gossip and rumor control the society. Very 1984-sequel. Long dense sentences and chapters. Characters are also unnamed except for the Milkman, who stalks the main character. ( )
  mojomomma | Mar 17, 2019 |
I picked this up somewhat warily after it won the Man Booker because I had understood it wasn’t an easy read. It’s true that it has fewer paragraph and chapter breaks than I generally prefer, but it’s such a strong read that it’s hard to complain. It’s a historical novel that is urgent and contemporary. It is a story about the Troubles that is both disturbing and properly funny. Funnier than The Sellout or any other novel I can think of recently that was marketed as a hilarious satire. It may be the confirmation bias talking, but this was a fine and worthy book. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
Although I've started a couple of other books since I finished "Milkman", as I lay in bed, insomniac, it drifted up to the surface of my mind as something sad that I couldn't release. I can't imagine a book that so distinctly illustrates how war moulds and damages people, even the physical environment. A lot of that is in the covert nature of so much of the "Troubles" and its consequences for relationships, some of that is from the author's deep understanding of personality trying to burrow out security, where no heroism remains, even among people on the same side. Beautifully, poetically written in a naive voice, only a writer of this quality could possibly tarry so long over a build up of action and plot development. The downfall is that it is a very long, flat landscape of 'no glory', where the crucial love relationship resolves in one case in disappointment, in the other case in a kind of role-reversal dismissal through tragic end. Personally, I would have liked the main character to find out a bit more about 'Milkman', testing the limits of the powder-room training she had received. His shadow, the other milkman from beyond the Pale who just couldn't love anybody, simply hadn't ever learned to hate anybody. I think he lived. ( )
  joannajuki | Mar 10, 2019 |
I know this is a polarizing book, but I am squarely in the love it camp. That might be because I listened to the audio, read in Brid Brennan’s luscious Irish brogue. It didn't find it difficult (in the sense of hard to read) and I don’t consider it an experimental novel - I felt like I was listening to real life in real time, and felt transported to Belfast in the late 70’s. The wordiness I’ve heard complaints about was delightful to me - quintessentially Irish and playful and often funny as hell. Reading it is being word-drunk in the best possible way. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
The day Somebody McSomebody put a gun to my breast and called me a cat and threatened to shoot me was the same day the milkman died,” begins this strange and intriguing novel that tackles the Northern Ireland conflict from the perspective of an 18-year-old girl with no interest in the Troubles...Anna Burns, who was shortlisted for the Orange prize in 2002 with No Bones, which also depicted the Troubles, is excellent at evoking the strange ecosystem that emerges during protracted conflict – “this psycho-political atmosphere, with its rules of allegiance, of tribal identification...What starts out as a study of how things go wrong becomes a study in how things go right, and the green shoots are not the work of the paramilitaries. The narrator of Milkman disrupts the status quo not through being political, heroic or violently opposed, but because she is original, funny, disarmingly oblique and unique: different. The same can be said of this book.
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For Katy Nicholson, Clare Dimond and James Smith
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The day Somebody McSomebody put a gun to my breast and called me a cat and threatened to shoot me was the same day the milkman died.
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In an unnamed city, middle sister stands out for the wrong reasons. She reads while walking, for one. And she has been taking French night classes downtown. So when a local paramilitary known as the milkman begins pursuing her, she suddenly becomes “interesting,” the last thing she ever wanted to be. Despite middle sister’s attempts to avoid him―and to keep her mother from finding out about her maybe-boyfriend―rumors spread and the threat of violence lingers. Milkman is a story of the way inaction can have enormous repercussions, in a time when the wrong flag, wrong religion, or even a sunset can be subversive. Told with ferocious energy and sly, wicked humor, Milkman establishes Anna Burns as one of the most consequential voices of our day.
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