I loved this book. Granted it’s not a quick read, but well worth it, to luxuriate in the language and depth of thought. It’s a ‘stream of consciousness ‘ from the mind of our protagonist, a young woman in the midst of “the Troubles “ in 1970’s Belfast, so we don’t get tidy paragraphs and short chapters. If you can cope with that style, you will find yourself drawn in and rewarded. The violence, fear, loss of life is somehow mitigated by the fierce loyalties and elemental “justices” meted out in the tightly knit community, plus some very humorous expressions and encounters. I felt right inside her mind, and even seemed to hear her accent as she recounts her experiences. A worthy recipient of the Man Booker Prize.
Milkman is perhaps a more emotionally, than intellectually, difficult read, as the author deftly pulls the reader into the guarded, hyper-vigilant paranoia of 18 year old "middle sister" who
attempts to maintain a tenuous grasp on a "normal" life. Set in a large, un-named city in Northern Ireland during the violent "Troubles" during the 1970's; "middle sister's" thought
processes frames her coping with violent death and depression as she attempts to screen out
chronic surveillance by the occupying loyalists and resistance factions and the predatory stalking by an older, powerful member of a resistance faction, by reading while running. The community at large considers any attempts toward normalcy as being suspicious and "beyond
As difficult as this book was to read; I found this to be a fascinating look at how a community's
culture, values and gender roles are impacted a by long term violence. It was a worthwhile read that will stay with me.
Interesting but started to give me a headache - did finish finally but at a cost
It was difficult to read, BUT I loved how it described The Troubles without really being blunt. The writing was compelling. I just had a hard time getting through it because there were so few paragraphs - if I was tired, I couldn't concentrate for more than a few pages. I really enjoyed the characters and the story.
Original writing but not easy reading. In talking to my sister who has been to Northern Ireland it captures beautifully the paranoia, fear and violence of The Troubles which have lasted until today.
namelessness makes sense in this difficult story of crazy-making times
I admit to getting lost but then again finding my way through the dangers, the exasperation, and the dark humour among the families and neighborhoods under siege.
the novel was both specific and universal
Unreadable. Gave up after 100 pages. Not interesting and unbelievably pretentious.
With "Milkman," Anna Burns stands beside other great novelists of Ireland's Troubles such as J.G. Farrell and Thomas Flanagan.
Fascinating story about the “troubles” in Northern Ireland during the 1970s, written from the perspective of a determined teenage girl. Both interesting and unusual.
Man Booker Winner. This novel is set in the 1970s in Northern Ireland, but it could be any time, any place characterized by violence, patriarchy and an authoritarian or tribal culture. No names are used, which means it could be anywhere. The story is told by an 18 year old girl who "absents" herself from her environment. The almost stream of consciousness means that the reader becomes immersed in this world. Interesting and a worthy Booker winner.
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