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Mr Loverman

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,027 ratings  ·  191 reviews
Barrington Jedidiah Walker.
Barry to his friends.
Trouble to his wife.

Seventy-four years old, Antiguan born and bred, flamboyant Hackney personality Barry is known for his dapper taste and fondness for retro suits.

He is a husband, father and grandfather.

And for the past sixty years, he has been in a relationship with his childhood friend and soulmate, Morris.

Wife Carmel
Paperback, 307 pages
Published August 29th 2013 by Penguin
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Betsy Prioleau I'm not sure; check Amazon. But by all means, read this book!

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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,027 ratings  ·  191 reviews

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Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour, contemporary
His name is Morris. He is my Morris and he always be my Morris. He's a good-hearted man, a special man, a sexy man, a history-loving man, a loyal man, a man who appreciates a good joke, a man of many moods, a drinking man, and a man with whom I can be myself completely. Yes, I was in the throes of a Malibu-and-Coke-soaked madness, a madness that could lead to the demise of my life as I'd hitherto known it. But I was on the verge. - Bernardine Evaristo, Mr. Loverman

I love this book’s cover; it

Right, we’ve got that out of the way.
(The record is mentioned once in the book, BTW.)

A novel about a seventy-four year old black Caribbean man in East London who’s been in a down-low gay relationship for most of his adult life, and is forced to confront the possibility of divorce from his wife and finally coming out – to some people that may sound rather worthy. Actually, it’s a joy to read: Barrington (aka Barry) is brilliant company as a narrator, he’s funny, well-read and has a great
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book immensely. Bernardine Evaristo is an incredibly talented author and her witty writing is certainly on display here.

Barrington Jedidiah Walker (Mr. Loverman) is a hoot! Witty, audacious, loving and carefree. He's a 74 year old closeted gay man born in Antigua and living in London with his wife of 50 years. Oh, and did I mention his lover (whom his wife figures as just his BFF) lives nearby where they enjoy a tryst every now and then, unbeknownst to anyone? Will Barry finally
K.J. Charles
The story of an elderly married Caribbean gentleman finally claiming his sexuality as he decides to get a divorce and live with his lifelong lover Morris, and the effects on him, his family, his life. This is a fabulous read. Barry is a deeply flawed character--unreconstructed and very sexist in some ways, selfish, failing everyone including himself at points--and we see how that's caused by both his character and his upbringing, by racism and colonialism and the lingering effects of slavery ...more
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most entertaining book I've read this year, so far.

In "Mr. Loverman", Bernardine Evaristo writes about 70+ year old Barry, an Antiguan living in London in a loveless marriage. He's retired, spry, financially comfortable, forever learning, extremely dapper, witty as hell, and enjoys liquor a little too much. His wife, Carmel, suspects he's been cheating on her with various loose women since the beginning of their marriage over 50 years ago, so she unleashes fire on him every time he enters
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5, rounded down.

I didn't much care for Evaristo's Booker winner (see: but wanted to give her another try, to determine whether I just didn't care for that particular book, or if it was Evaristo's style I didn't cotton to. It's a little of both, although I did enjoy this effort more than GWO.

The subject at hand was a bit more appealing and succinct, about an elderly Antiguan transplant to the UK, Barrington Walker, attempting to extricate himself from
Elizabeth A
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, audio
And the streak continues! Another five star read this year featuring a gay man, albeit a closeted one, and this one was written by a woman.

This story is about Barrington Jedidiah Walker (Barry to his friends), a seventy-four year old Antiguan living in Britain. He is a husband, father, grandfather, and has been cheating on his wife with his childhood lover Morris, for the past sixty years. Based on this description you would think that you'd dislike Barry, but you would be wrong.

There is so
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You know what? This book was great. Sensitive, empathetic, soul-searching, and painful, with beautifully crafted characters. I felt I really *knew* these people, they were so *human*. A witty, funny, sassy, coming-of-age-at-the-age-of-74 story. It portrayed the repercussions a family feels over a lifetime due to the crucial decision of one man. The author reminded me that it is never too late to really live the life you want to live. She also made me think of my own life, and how so many people ...more
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, buddy-read
Oh Barry and Morris...

I will say that I have never read anything like this story before. It was such a good read.
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
The sign of a great book is when you mourn the loss of the characters (insert 'friends') when it's over. Oh how I miss Barry...and Morris...and Barry's far, far from perfect family.

Barry is a 74 year old Londoner from Antigua. He lives with his wife Carmel of 50 years and has two daughters and a grandson...he also has a secret lover of 60 years called Morris.

This is a family drama rooted in the breakdown of Barry's marriage and how/if/when he can extricate himself from it with minimal damage and
~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~
~ 5 Stars
I loved this book and managed to somehow not save my review. Read this book about a flawed character and how he finally gets the life he wanted at the ripe age of 74. I saved a few quotes so you can look at those. Quotes ~
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
Thanks to her Booker win, I looked up what books my library might have by this author and came across this one. What a great surprise! I LOVED everything about this book, the wonderful characters, the humor and of course the dapper 74 year old Mr. Barrington Jedidiah Walker. Read the blurb then read the book (or better yet, listen to the fantastic audio rendition).
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Review to come. :)
Jerrika Rhone
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Page 1 and this book is already winning. LOL

5% Done: Is there a word bigger then wonderful? Remarkable, maybe?

50% Done: I am NOT a fan of Carmel. She is judgemental and unhappy and makes those around her miserable. I guess I should feel sorry for her in a way, for being lied too for so long but I don't understand that either. Barry is no peach, don't get me wrong. I just really really have an issue with bible thumpers.

Towards the end I expected for Carmel to grow on me in some way. I understand
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
On the heels of the Harry Potter I was reminded of just what it is about literary fiction that makes my heart beat. I feel like I am back at the grown up table discussing sexuality, family, love, redemption, and pain. There are so many consequences that come from not living in the truth of love. The collateral damage of being in love with self image rather than yourself is at center stage of the entire book. The author made me feel like every single character is, or at least could be who I am at ...more
Kate Ahl
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, but aspects of it didn't feel very true. Barry and Carmel are very well drawn, but Maxine and Daniel felt a bit like caricatures, and I got no real sense of Morris, which was disappointing. A lot of potential problems, hardship, and acrimony - which could have made for greater emotional depth to the book - were neatly avoided thanks to Morris's having masses of money to throw at whatever problems came his way. Still, all in all an uplifting read.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Never have I read such a hopeful book about such terrible nuanced characters! How could I love everyone so much and yet also judge them so harshly??? Such a great experience reading about this fucked-up fam and the love (and lack) between them.

Sally Whiteside
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book! I loved every second of it and it's rollercoaster of emotions that it gave me, I was also a little sad that it was over. I picked this up by chance in a charity shop and I am so glad I got to read such an amazing book.
Andrew Smith
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully entertaining. Honest, witty, and empathetic at the same time.
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Confession: I have a likely slightly patronizing love for elderly gay men. This may explain how Bernadine Evaristo's Mr. Loverman was able to so quickly grab me in the feels and hold on for the entire time I was reading it.

The start of Loverman was somewhat rocky for me. Evaristo's language choices are both more deliberate than is commonly found in novels in my experience and far more idiosyncratic. The latter is to be expected, I suppose, with a 70-something year old Antiguan ex-pat narrator
Vicci Divine
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting story selected for the ATP Bookclub! I thought the point of view was interesting as I've seen books written on the female perspective but rarely about the males. I liked that we got to watch the unfolding of the plan to come out from an older gentleman. The twist is that the main character is well into his 70s and married for over 50 years and ready to come out and live in his truth. The author and setting of the book is English so I did run into a few words (acronyms) that I wasn't ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars this book was hard for me to get in to but I'm glad I finished it. I was--at first--angry with Barry and felt sorry for Carmel. Then I continued reading and was angry with Carmel (in addition to feeling sorry for her because she was just so blind and lazy) and happy for Barry and Morris. We make the bed, we lay in it. Carmel had her indiscretions just as Barry did, one might say not as severe but sin is sin to a Christian; she should know since loves to spout bible verses and go to ...more
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay, fiction
Beautifully written, often very funny, and, at least for those of us only 10 or 15 years younger than Barrington Walker, ringing mostly true in its portrayal of the lives of many gay men who grew up in the years before liberation, whether in the American Midwest or in London. Regardless of race and geography, we shared the hugely important experience of being despised and outlawed by the societies in which we lived.
But don't get the idea that this book is a downer! Barry is one of the most
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr Loverman. Mr Barry Walker is such a character! I really like his dry sense of humour, everything he says is pure comedy gold. Bitter-sweet and heart wrenching. Observant to the issues of race and sexuality, skillfully written and very interesting to read, highly recommended!

Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Utterly adorable, this is one of the most wonderful character studies, and depictions of love in all its forms that I have come across.
Anyone who can read this and not be utterly charmed is simply not human.
I have a feeling this is something I will read and reread again and again.
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Such a fun audio listen wonderful language and beautifully read.
Maggie Kiely
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first read by this author. I was drawn to this due to the subject matter and wonder how a female author would handle writing about two gay men and their families. I commend this author and loved the characters and their lives.
Barry being gay laid bare all that is good and bad in his extended clan. Carmel and Barry are both intellectual people and have taken advantage of what life has to offer them. Yet within their own relationship they soldier on in their personal ‘battlefield’.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one, though the way things work out in the end is a little too neat and tidy (view spoiler). Anyway, I still liked it, especially Barry's voice ...more
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The characters in this are so likeable even when they aren’t behaving well, there’s so much life and fun in it. The ending might be a bit convenient but I enjoyed the story, a split narrative that works so well, YA fiction are you watching it can be done with style and with never forgetting which character you are with. Read this for its diversity, but stay for the fun.
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Hype Lit Book Club: April 2019: Mr. Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo 1 3 Apr 08, 2019 10:29AM  

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Bernardine Evaristo is a British writer, born in Woolwich, south east London to an English mother and Nigerian father. She has written novels in various mixes of prose and poetry; she has also written poems, radio plays, and theatre plays. Among her other honours, The Emperor's Babe was chosen as one of the Times' "100 Best Books of the Decade" and Evaristo was named a Member of the British Empire ...more
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“Truth is, both of us was desperate to be anything other than what we was.” 1 likes
“In that moment, I wanted to tell this stranger, this Merle, this girl from the tiny island of Montserrat, that I had commensurate preferences too, but I couldn’t be a brave warrior like her.
I wanted to tell her about Morris.
I wanted to sing his name out into the night.
His name is Morris. He is my Morris and he always been my Morris. He’s a good-hearted man, a special man, a sexy man, a history-loving man, a loyal man, a man who appreciates a good joke, a man of many moods, a drinking man, and a man with whom I can be myself completely.

Yes, I was in the throes of a Malibu-and-Coke-soaked madness, a madness that could lead to the demise of my life as I’d hitherto known it. But I was on the verge.”
More quotes…