Milkman: A Novel

Milkman: A Novel

by Anna Burns


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781644450000
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 444
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Anna Burns was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is the author of two novels, No Bones and Little Constructions, and of the novella, Mostly Hero. No Bones won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She lives in East Sussex, England.

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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. He had been shot by one of the state hit squads and I did not care about the shooting of this man. Others did care though, and some were those who, in the parlance, ‘knew me to see but not to speak to’ and I was being talked about because there was a rumour started by them, or more likely, which proved the case, by first brother-in-law, that I had been having an affair with this milkman and that I was eighteen and he was forty-one.

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From the Publisher

" Milkman is remarkable. A tale told by a voice that's utterly compelling and which you read with the feeling that you're being led down the darkest of rabbit holes. Irresistible and disturbing."—Jess Kidd

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Milkman: A Novel 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
SheTreadsSoftly 7 days ago
Milkman by Anna Burns is the recommended winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize. The Milkman is set in an unnamed city in Northern Ireland in a city under siege during the "troubles." The story is told over several months through and narrated by an 18 year-old unnamed character. She is trying to avoid the unwanted sexual attention and intimidation of a paramilitary figure known as the Milkman. She is trying to avoid him, but she is already standing out due to her reading while walking and taking a French night class. All she wants is to keep on with her quiet life, reading while walking, running, and seeing her maybe-boyfriend. Now the Milkman's unwanted attention has made her the target of rumor and gossip and has, perhaps, also made her a target of surveillance. Burns does an excellent job setting the novel in a specific place and during a specific time. She also excels at capturing the attitudes of the people living during the time of the troubles and the oppression and rules they follow in order to go on and try to lead ordinary lives. There are poetic moments buried in the rather dense prose which consists of some of the narrator's ordinary activities but mostly covers her inner, introspective thoughts and musings. There is a lot of repetition and examination of a situation from different angles. This was a challenging read for me, and not entirely enjoyable. Part of the challenge is the lack of names, any names. Instead of names you have middle sister, older sister, third sister, maybe-boyfriend, third brother-in-law, nuclear-boy, Somebody McSomebody, the wee ones, longest friend from primary school, etc., etc.. As with other reviewers, the many many times these characterization-names were repeated began to grate after so many times. I'm glad I read it, but it was a chore to finish the novel. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.