[EPUB] (Milkman by Anna Burns)

Milkman by Anna Burns

Anna Burns ☆ 6 Summary

Lied myself to get through I m going to disappoint some by not giving this one of my infamous parodic takedown reviews but I am going to have to pass since this book not only sapped my creative juices but at several points my will to liveOthers have bizarrely mentioned how unny this is but I can only assume they Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, find cancer boils and diarrhea eually hilarious The non plot barely contains enough incidents to hang a Now shortlistedor the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award One year on A Short Time in Luxembourg from its win and this book s sales and reputation goor strength to strength Anna Burns gave a moving speech at the recent Booker award dinner Power Score for 2019 which I was lucky enough to attend The 2019 longlist had many strong books but nothing to match the brilliance and distinctiveness of this one UPDATED THOUGHTSOne of my top books of 2018 and after a re read which I enjoyed even thanirst time around likely to be one of my top reads in 2019 This was also the Winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize Purely in my view this was always the standout book on the longlist and the best winner Martial Arts as Embodied Knowledge for years however just as I predicted in my original review this is not a bookor everyone as can be seen in some of the reviews of this book I do ind something meta ictional about the act that a book about a divided This book represents the very best literary iction has to offer as well as much of what puts people off Highly original with distinctively crafted sentence structure dense with meaning and plenty of things to say about both the political and the personal Lofty and lowly ideas Ach it s lovely Ach tisIt s also difficult Difficult to read which is why I m SO glad I listened to this on audio because of those sentences I lauded earlier Those long elliptical musical sentences that live in eually long paragraphs Difficult perhaps because of the analytical Alpha Bully (The Alpha Shifter Collection form which starts at generalities and then zeroes in and zeroes in and zeroes in again until we are at a speck of dust on a shelf There was a part about halfway through so analytical and philosophical she alllllllmost lost me not uite though she lost a star Ach it October 21st 2018Somebody gave me their copy of the Man Booker winner today because I m down withlu A nice surprise And a surprise to The Emperor's Tomb find the colour pink dominating the cover What had I thought That it would be green Or white Or maybe orange No Ignore the orange That must be theever talking The pink covered book looks unread and I worry about creasing the spine of said pink book but I crease it anyway and uickly I ve wanted to read Pinkbook ever since I d Who Was Muhammad Ali? first heard about it though I ve not wanted to read itor all that time too so Somebody sending it over was like my mind being made up The Vampire Chronicles Collection: Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned for me by Somebody Else Not that I like my mind being made upor me as a rule though I don t like rules much either Ok I need to sleep nowOctober 22ndI ve discovered why Pinkbook is pink It s because of the amazing ability of the sun to set gloriously even upon inglorious circumstancesAnd I m clearer about why I had that not wanting to read it Fat feeling It camerom the suspicion that Pinkbook s narrator and I must be of a similar vintage We are One The Crook Who Crossed the Golden Gate Bridge from over the border the otherrom under the border compassly speaking One living in a no go area over the road Schizophrenic from another no go area the other living in a come and go as you please area alongside other come and go as you please areas One learning to tiptoe around unmentionables so that tomorrow might come the other tramping on taboos like there was no tomorrow So there was guilt in that not wanting to read iteeling Guilt that there were no no go areas where eighteen year old me lived no taboo subjects I couldn t examine if I chose no tribal groups making tribal rules no white van men making up my mind Broadchurch for me no names I dared not name And noather mother sisters brothers missing or dead None of any of that though I lived no great distance away Pussy Power from Pinkbook s narrator in world terms In world terms we were just across the roadrom each other October 23rdI m in a doctor s waiting ROOM PRIMARY VIRAL INFECTION BECOMING SECONDARY primary viral infection becoming secondary infection and as I take Pink half read book out of my bag essential reading while waiting therapy I smile because a Problem Solving and Program Design in C familiar song issuesrom the speaker system It s a song Pinkbook s narrator might have hummed as she walked the dark end of her street But she d have had to hum it silently because the Van man who wrote that song was from over the road and the white van godfathers on the dark over the road and the white van godfathers on the dark of her street might not have approved But me when that song came out I got to sing along wherever I chose belting it out happily with An Odyssey friends at parties never dwelling long on the dark end of the street always crossing confidently towards the bright side of the roadWhen the song ends Ilatten Pinkbook out heedless of creases position my ClownFellas fingers to hold it at the best angle and pick up this troubledractured painful but Tender at the Bone funny story where it left off Soon I come to the bit about narrator s jamais vu moments It seems that along with the odd in her community habit of reading while walking she had the habit of wiping certainrom her memory completely Although it must be said that her subconscious made unexpected choices about to jamais vu Why dotdotdot and not dash dash dash I wonder as my name is calledI walk out of the surgery twenty minutes later with a prescription and with two of my Wireless fingers in a splint It seems I ve damaged the extensor tendon of theourth inger of my left hand I have no memory of how or when it happened Jamais vu Jamais d j vu D j jamais vuI walk home not reading while walking I need no urther reading injuries October 24thI m galloping through Pinkbook Pinkbook is ast becoming Nearly read book until narrator puts a halt to my gallop On the innocent turn of a relatively innocent seeming page I stumble upon a purply red passage Roasted beetroot and Roma tomatoes Celebration red cabbage in port and red wine Platter of edible red with urther red and splashes of red with extra startling red splatters to The Healing follow There s a butcher s knife in this passage Where is jamais vu when you need it LaterOk Nearly read book I say stubbornly this is it I veortified myself with strong coffee so that I can Think of a Number finish you off in one go I will do this Ilatten Pinkbook out The Fever Code (Maze Runner, Book Five; Prequel) (The Maze Runner Series) for theinal time position some of my The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything... Fast! fingers to hold it at the best angle and give this troubledractured painful but contumaciously hilarious story all I ve got It s worth it No no no no noAs in hell no I didn t Die himmlische Tafel finish it I made it through a third of the book but I just couldn t take it any It was right up there with a root canal maybe worse because it reuired intense concentration Aascinating book that sadly was unreadable Nanny Oggs Cookbook for meIeel bad I m bad mouthing this book First 60 pages I was on my knees worshiping this author The ABCs of How We Learn for being such areakin genius The sentences oh the sentences Uniue twisted revealing stunning The writing was very stylized and I loved the style Intricate personal clever unusual spot on it s very hard to describe the power of the writing The The Life of Objects first sentence of the book is killer good And there was psychology oh how I love psychology I got yanked inside the author s head a hostage to her off kilter way of thinking Hot diggity I wasorced to let go of my way of looking at the world and I bought into hers I did have to concentrate hard but I didn t care because I was enjoying myself so much I can t stress how much all of this was working I held tight to her visionuntil all the sudden the rubber band burst and the magic was gone Kaput The sentences that had seduced me now confused me and annoyed me No connection any zilchSo what the hell happened Too much politics too much philosophy which always makes my head. About her encounter with Milkman But when irst brother in law sniffs out her struggle and rumours start to swell middle sister becomes 'interesting' The last thing she ever wanted to be Deserved Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2018Shortlisted I Want a Bedtime Story! for the Women s Prizeor Fiction 2019This year s Man Booker longlist contains plenty of surprises but I suspect that none will be welcome than this one I will try to keep this review Hunted (Vampire Beach, fairly short soor a detailed one I recommend this one Love Unlocked, Uncovered and Unwrapped from Gumble s Yard setting is based on Belfast at the height of the Troubles in the late 70s but this is never explicitly stated inact very Dear Teacher few proper names appear in this book It is written in long dense paragraphs and very long chapters which makesinding break points uite challenging and it is a book that demands concentration The narrator recounts her experiences as an 18 year old trying to steer a path through the minefield of gossip and political intrigues in Catholic Belfast the author is old enough to remember these times and was brought up thereThe language and style is extraordinary and innovative Rather than using names characters are referenced using their place in the story The Milkman of the title is an older and married renouncer of the state ie a republican terrorist who seems to be stalking the narrator leading the community to believe that they are having an affair This is not her only problem she is also seen as a non conformist just because she likes reading while walking Like many Catholics the narrator comes Just One of Those Flings (Merry Widows, from a largeamily so brothers sisters and brothers in law are given ordinals other characters include the real milkman aka the man who doesn t love anybody tablets girl tablets girl s sister and almost a year maybe boyfriend The mother is a powerful presence and believes community rumours than her own daughter while brooding over her own poor choice of husband Places and communities are also referred to indirectly A Diversity of Dragons for example the ten minute area a derelict buffer zone the interface roads and the parks reservoirsThe language of control is another theme She sine out and about was the communal prognosis upon her also the communal euphemism Far from the Place We Called Home for mended though broken itself another euphemismor in urgent need of medical care and attention all of which the person in need unfortunately was not going to attend hospital to getIt is interesting that Burns chose to write about this period now given the current climate of social media surveillance and hate driven politics and the threats to Irish stability created by Brexit NB After writing this review I discovered that the book was mostly written than 4 years before it was published so well before the Brexit referendum which makes it all the prescientThis may sound dark and claustrophobic but the book also contains some very Crushed Mexican Spiders / Possibly Forty Ships funny momentsToinish I can t resist a link to a song that covers some the same ground the brilliant Religious Persuasion by Andy White This book is a current London for Lovers favoriteor winning the Man Booker Prize in 2018 Its Home and Away fame comesrom the distinctive Voice of Middle Sister So it s a voice book that makes me think of others the brogue of Swing Hammer Swing by Jeff Torrington or The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganus At the time I write early 2019 the book already has 13000 rating on GR and than 2200 reviews So I ll go easy on the summary You ll probably like it or you won t as there is a dichotomy in the reviews with mostly 4 s and 5 s but many 1 s and 2 s with a lot of DNFsThe Voice this isn t a uote but a list of vocabulary to give an example Ach aye yeah middle sister wee sisters my maybe boyfriend his maybe girlfriend renouncers the opposite religion over the water over the border this side of the road that side of the road it s not wee buns ach aye no Here s an example of the voice Dying to be Friends (Dai and Julia from a passage where her mother talks to her about her deceasedather She meant depressions Martini Henry for da had had them big massive scudding whooping black cloud infectious crow raven jackdaw coffin upon coffin catacomb upon catacomb skeletons upon skulls upon bones crawling along the ground to the grave type of depressions There is very little back andorth dialog but passages of conversation are included in the one paragraph per page structure The story is all centered On The Euphemistically Called Troubles In Northern the euphemistically called Troubles in Northern especially Sasquatch from the late 60 s through 1988 The author was born in 1962 so she lived in the Belfast during all this time and was ten at the time of peak violence 1972 More than 3500 people were killed in the violencerom shootings and bombings or shot by British soldiers or by paramilitary groups on each side Catholic and Protestant her opposite religions This is a huge amount of deaths How to Eat (Mindfulness Essentials, for a city the size of say Toledo Ohio or Plymouth UKEveryamily in the story is touch Many writers strive Character Breakdown for aresh vibrant distinctive voice Detonator (Nick Stone, few achieve it as well as Anna Burns does in this novel It wasitting that I read this while reading Toni Morrison s Beloved because both novels have a Far From Home (Children of the Promise, fresh and innovativeemale voice at the helm and both very cleverly and subtly bring heaps of searing intelligence to the essentially uneducated worlds they depict Milkman is an evocation of a world in which bigotry rules supreme And this bigotry is mocked relentlessly with often hilarious biting ingenious satire No one in the novel gets a name as if names in this world are meaningless Everyone is tagged like walls Milkman himself probably a candidate Dublin 4 / Lilac Bus / Victoria Line, Central Line for most sinister villain of the decade isn t a milkman at all He s the sum total ofearful rumour a veritable stalking bogeyman Two things though are certain Firstly he possesses intimidating authority as an enforcer of the repressive status uo And secondly he drives a white van one of misogyny s most benign yet potent symbols When he begins driving alongside our narrator who likes to read while walking her autonomy identity and living space all suddenly shrink under his menacing interest Though there s no overt sexual harassment the narrator explains her predicament At the time age eighteen having been brought up in a hair trigger society where the ground rules were if no physically violent touch was being laid upon you and no outright verbal insults were being levelled at you and no taunting looks in the vicinity either then nothing was happening so how could you be under attack If You Asked Me To from something that wasn t there At eighteen I had no proper understanding of the ways that constituted encroachmentThe armedorces of that country over the water pose little tangible threat in Milkman What everyone most ears is the opinion of their neighbours Because this is an us and them world which permits no nuance of allegiance You re either with us or you re against us Everyday life is an obstacle course of not providing the local gossip mongers any reason to single you out To be singled out is to invite suspicions of belonging to them not us The narrator s maybe boyfriend gets into trouble when he wins part of a Bentley car in a s maybe boyfriend gets into trouble when he wins part of a Bentley car in a To his neighbours this small piece of engineering is a symbol of the country over the water This scene is one of the many brilliant withering mockeries of mob mentality ideological paranoia and the underhand blood lust innate in draconian repressive measures Another of my avourite scenes is when the narrator tries to convince her mother she s still attractive and resorts to the tactic of throwing high sounding numbers at her just as politicians often do on our TV screens So Milkman is about much than Belfast during the troubles It s about the hard and stifling lines that are drawn up House of Sand and Fog for us and the often exhausting struggle to push them back And it s brilliant Well that wasunpleasant I usually can read a 352 page novel in two to three days this took me a tortuous ten as on several occasions I looked at the book and just had no interest in reading any of it I was sorely tempted to DNF it but as a Booker completest I ral. In this unnamed city to be interesting is dangerous Middle sister our protagonist is busy attempting to keep her motherrom discovering her maybe boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark. Spin My theory is that the author indulged herself and wrote every single word that came into her head She analyzed everything to death This led to long paragraphs about ideas sacrificing dialogue and plot with many abstract thoughts and compound words all in a row without room or a breath plus a zillion commas Sort of like I m doing here oh god no As I went Rome and Italy (The History of Rome, from complaining to being pissed off I realized that I would have loved this if it were a short story I could have sustained that concentrationor a shorter amount of time To have to endure 300 plus pages of this thick pea soup which became unpalatable to this pea brain no wayIt was just too حکایت پیر و جوان؛ داستانی به قلم ناصرالدین شاه قاجار friggin dense and there were too many tangents I had to reread and reread sentences until I had severe brain pain This writer she could take a spec on a wall and write a whole complicated treatise on it uestions that kids think of like why is the sky blue actually launches the author into analyzing just that in painful detail If I were a kid I would run away to play in my sandbox Granted it s not a simple uestion but you don t have to make it a PhD thesis either Atirst I was having a ball such a cool subject but as she droned on about it I changed my tuneI started realizing that I was dreading picking up this book and I thought Root canal This is like a root canal But a root canal would be over sooner Hey I told myself I can end this root canal this minute and simply stop reading I can make it shorter than a root canal damn straight I can Wouldn t it be Ainsleys Caribbean Kitchen fun to walk out in the middle of a root canal and suffer no conseuences And thus I did what I seldom do and especially with a book I was absolutely loving atirst I ditched it This gave me both relief and distress Was I just too stupid to understand it all Were the sentences readable to my smart Remember, Remember friends but too denseor my lesser brain I decided it didn t matter I read One Last Goodbye for pleasure and this had swerved into the torture category Oh you probably want to know what this book is about It s told inirst person by an 18 year old girl in Belfast in the 1970s during the time of war No one has names only nicknames For example she refers to her boyfriend as her almost boyfriend There s a stalker who she calls the milkman and there s another stalker named Somebody McSomebody and a The Ultimate Guide to Tarot (The Ultimate Guide to...) few other players who she refers to inunny ways I thought the name thing was clever The main character is the subject of gossip and she is criticized because she walks and reads You really get the sense of war and the accompanying The Undoing of Justin Starbuck (Written in the Stars, fear Unfortunately the author s self indulgent tangents take us awayrom the characters and the plot Oh and a warning There s a dead animal scene that I could have done without I don t know why the author went there Gross and upsettingThis book won an award it did indeed I think the judges considered it great art but didn t think about how it The Spooks Revenge (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, fared as literature whether it was accessible whether the plot and characters popped out like they should Because I think itailedThe Wild Games final thought before I gave up This thing will take me two months to read and life is too short So many books out there that will make me shiver Get me the hell out of the dentist s chair Man Booker 2018 WINNER So well deserved congrats Anna Burns I loved Milkman but it s so painfully niche I can t think of anyone I d personally recommend it to Set in an unnamed city that s probably Belfast in the 1970s Milkmanollows an unnamed narrator who s believed by her community to be having an affair with a man known only as the milkman who isn t actually a milkman Told in stream of consciousness prose and set against the backdrop of the Troubles Milkman doesn t offer much of a plot but it does provide a perceptive and intelligent look at a community under duress and constant surveillance It also starts with these stellar opening lines 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 suads 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 likely by Operation Gadgetman! first brother in law that I had been having an affair with this milkman and that I was eighteen and he wasorty one But this book is hard work I will readily admit that Though I loved the narrator s sharp observational commentary even I Laundry found the narrative style painfully long winded at times Paragraphs go onor pages chapters go on Self-Reliance and Constructive Change (Course for Spiritual Self-Development) for hours the kind of concentration it takes to really immerse yourself in this novel can be draining This is not what anyone would describe as an easy read and I think it s the kind of book that s going toall under the category of I appreciated it but I didn t like it The Mark of The Horse Lord for a lot of people This line of thought actually made me reflect on what it means to like a book because I wouldn t describe my reading experience asun necessarily but despite that I Are You The Pirate Captain? found Milkman incredibly rewarding Anna Burns deftly crafts a living breathing community and paints a portrait of the realities of living in a city torn apart by civil unrest Rumors andalse perceptions dog these characters and our narrator in particular who s considered an oddity a beyond the pale due to the Goodnight Santa fact that she often reads while walking In order toit in in a society like this every time you leave the house you have to bury a part of yourself and Milkman incisively and comprehensively examines the toll that takes I don t know if I ve ever read another novel that so expertly evokes the kind of anxiety that comes Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them from the inability to trust your neighbor or even your ownamily Characters in this novel operate under a veil of شوالیه ناموجود formality that you as a reader want to peel back to reveal their genuine hopes andears and aspirations but of course all you re able to do is mutely watch them navigate social situations while unable to truly express themselves This book can be infuriating because of that but it s supposed to be There s also an undeniably The Nature Writings Of Henry David Thoreau feminist undercurrent to the whole thing as the narrator laments the difficulties uniue to women during this time though it remains a subtle element throughout Though it s ultimately of a psychological story than a historical one drawing obvious parallels to any number of totalitarian regimes across history Milkman doeseel Prom and Other Hazards firmly rooted in its Northern Irish setting This is a recognizably Irish novelrom its stream of consciousness prose to its pitch black humor and there s no uestion that that played a huge role in my ultimate enjoyment of it so above all else I think I d recommend this to anyone who loves Irish lit and Irish history but who can tolerate a lack of plot and likes their novels a bit on the philosophical side Personally I ll be tolerate a lack of plot and likes their novels a bit on the philosophical side Personally I ll be if this is shortlisted Stars and Topsoil for the Booker but I also doubt that likelihood as it s not the kind of novel that s destined to reach a wide audience not that the Booker necessarily prioritizes accessibility but I would justind it unlikely if all ive judges are in complete agreement about this one s merits enough to advance it But who knows This
already been on my radar the longlist announcement but I m very happy that it pushed me to read it sooner than I otherwise would haveEDIT on 1015 I changed my mind I think it s going to win Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2018 sighThis isn t a bad book but I didn t enjoy reading it at all which confronts me with the challenge to do the novel justice while also explaining why it didn t appeal to me Challenge acceptedMilkman tells the story of an 18 year old woman in Belfast during the Troubles While she is trying to stay out of the turmoil around her. O be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay silence and deliberate deafness It is the story of inaction with enormous conseuence.
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