Darkmans – Nicola Barker

I was really looking forward to reading this book, as the cover makes it sound really interesting.

…..Elen, an enigmatic chiropodist, whose unstable husband, Dory, believes that their only son, Fleet, has been fathered by the deranged ghost of an evil, 500-year old court-jester…….a magical yet somehow instantly familiar world in which language crackles like static….. 

Unfortunately, I was very disappointed. The writing style was very annoying. I felt like I was being treated like an idiot, as obvious things were explained in brackets on a regular basis.

The character build up was OK at first, but failed to develop fully. They just didn’t come across as very believable. The dialogue between the characters wasn’t very natural, and their continual misunderstandings, resulting in large gaps and then:



really grated on me.

The plot was very sporadic, and had no forward momentum, so I found my thougths wandering off. This happened more frequently as the book went on, and so I finally gave up 250 pages in. This is the first Booker short listed book that I have failed to complete. I agonised over whether, or not, to finish it, so checked as many other reviews as possible. I discovered that people decide they either love or hate this book very quickly. Those that dislike the book, are left even more frustrated by the ending, so as I have nearly 500 pages left to read to reach this point I think I’ll leave it there.

I would, however, still love to read a book about a 500-year old court-jester fathering a child from Kent! If you’ve seen one – let me know!!

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  1. Beth F says:

    Thanks for the review. I love your last paragraph — made me laugh! I’ll keep an eye out for you.

  2. Thanks for the review. I’ll be sure to skip this one.


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