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Milkman (2018)

by Anna Burns

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1,485819,115 (3.75)201
In Northern Ireland during the Troubles of the 1970s, an unnamed narrator finds herself targeted by a high-ranking dissident known as Milkman.
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» See also 201 mentions

English (77)  German (2)  Piratical (1)  Welsh (1)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
Fieldnotes:
Unnamed Place (but definitely Belfast), late 1970s

The Troubles
Tea of Allegiance
Tea of Betrayal
Rough "Justice"

Sexual Harassment
Difficulty Processing What Is/Isn't Harassment
Hyper-Vigilance

Reading-While-Walking
19th Century Novels (Never the Dreaded 20th Century)
Detachment from Politics - Except Maybe Not

Maybe-Boyfriend
Ever-Present Danger
Judgmental Ma
Wee Sisters
The Real Milkman

0 Proper Names
Stream-of-Consciousness Musings
Unique Viewpoint with Clever Truths ( )
  Caramellunacy | Mar 10, 2021 |
At first, I thought that this was a dystopian novel, but no. Set in Ulster during the troubles from the perspective of an 18-year-old girl. I can't say I enjoyed it but it did paint a compelling portrait of a city district under paramilitary control and the lives of all within.
The lack of real names is a bit jarring at first, but after a while, it seemed normal. The long paragraphs and other less conventional writing styles also create a sense of discomfort in the reader too. ( )
  CharlotteBurt | Feb 1, 2021 |
This book is nominated for a Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize, named for a British Ambassador to Ireland whose 1976 murder by the IRA inspired this £7,500 annual award for literary works...including, this year, nominations for a #Brexit-analyzing Twitter account and the TV show Derry Girls...promoting cultural understanding between Ireland and England. (Yes yes yes, it's officially "the UK" but Wales and Scotland don't present historical problems to Ireland and Ulster's been fightin' 'em since Tara was the capital.)

Anyway. If you haven't read this wonderful book by now, what's stopping you from doing it right now? You really cannot go wrong...either you'll love it (like me) or you'll know that the Booker committee was off its game this time. (I hope it's the former; the latter is a distant second.)
  richardderus | Jan 24, 2021 |
I had to quit this book part way in because I’m far too dyslexic to be able to read it. It’s beautiful and really engrossing but the author writes big complicated sentences and I kept being too tired to make any progress, very much like Virginia Woolf.
I do wish I could have read the whole thing though, the first few chapters were great.

Update:
Having failed to get through this book but having enjoyed the bit I managed I decided to listen to the audiobook.
Without the trouble of my dyslexia gering in the way it was brilliant. It’s an excellent book/audiobook story, writing, commentary, everything about it is great.
Highly recommended. ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
I found this book amazing - a complex fable about a young woman struggling to survive mentally in a civil-war setting. While you will recognize the historical situation (I assume), I believe you will see that this is not limited to this one historical situation. Be prepared for a challenging and intense reading experience. ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
Als Anna Burns 2018 für ihren Roman Milkman mit dem Man-Booker-Preis ausgezeichnet wurde, tobte das verbissene politische Ringen um eine harte oder grüne EU-Außengrenze zwischen Irland und Nordirland. Burns konnte, als sie mit dem Roman über Belfast in den 1970ern zur Zeit des Nordirlandkonflikts begann, nicht absehen, dass er ein Buch der Stunde würde. Die Angst, dass der EU-Austritt Großbritanniens alte Wunden aufbrechen lassen könnte, ist heute aber noch immer nicht ausgestanden.
 
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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Aldina (23)
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For Katy Nicholson, Clare Dimond and James Smith
First words
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.
Quotations
In our district the renouncers-of-the-state were assumed the good guys, the heroes, the men of honour, the dauntless, legendary warriors, outnumbered, risking their lives, standing up for our rights, guerrilla-fashion, against all the odds.
Thing was, my growing suspicions of almost everyone and everything was proof of how the milkman had got in.
I thought he might be watching us, spying on us, perhaps taking secret pictures of us, and especially I'd be worried because he'd made his position clear on my dating maybe-boyfriend. Yet here I was, still dating maybe-boyfriend, which didn't mean, however, I'd dismissed that bomb threat.
I wasn't sure anymore what was plausible, what was exaggeration, what might be reality or delusion or paranoia.
So 'I don't know' was my three-syllable defence in response to the questions.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In Northern Ireland during the Troubles of the 1970s, an unnamed narrator finds herself targeted by a high-ranking dissident known as Milkman.

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Book description
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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