Five words from the blurb: Devon, English, town, quiet, privacy
Twitter has been full of love for this book and so I decided to jump on the band-wagon and read it too.
King of the Badgers is set in the fictional seaside town of Hanmouth, Devon and shows how the community is affected when a eight-year-old girl goes missing.
The writing was vivid, quickly building up a snapshot of modern English life. The observations of the class divide were particularly astute and I admired the quiet, realistic subtlety of the interactions between the characters.
I initially loved this book, but once the scene had been set I began to become frustrated. There was no forward momentum and because the pace of the book was painstakingly slow my mind began to wander. There were many points at which I almost gave up, but just as I was considering abandoning it something always happened to briefly grab my attention again. The problem was that the book felt disjointed and apart from being a “State of the Nation” novel there seemed to be no real thread to hold the narrative together. Some of the individual scenes were fantastic, but together they offered no real entertainment or insight.
If you are happy reading about English life in all its trivial and repulsive detail then I recommend this book, but if you are after any kind of plot then I’d stay away. Despite my criticisms I’d be very surprised not to see this on the Booker shortlist this year, so if you are Booker bagging I recommend that you get hold of a copy now!