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Behindlings (Thames Gateway, #2)
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Behindlings (Thames Gateway #2)

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  241 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Wesley, spurting with kinetic energy, nasty wit, and kindness to animals, ought to be a star. Or so it seems to those who nip at his heels, turn up everywhere he goes, and lie in wait for him around every corner. They are his followers -- he calls them Behindlings. And they make quite an ensemble, with their own questionable intentions, irritating habits, and weird manners ...more
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published January 7th 2003 by Ecco (first published 2002)
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Nick Davies
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Hmm. Here is a messy review of what is a messy novel.

Pros: Frequent, but not so frequently to save the book, delightfully clever descriptions. Several of the characters were colourful and intriguing, and held my interest (others, less so). The central idea of a group of people following a mysterious bloke for various uncertain reasons was an interesting one and posed plenty of thought-provoking questions. Readable enough to get through, with a bit of a struggle.

Cons: Confusing. Strange for the
MJ Nicholls
Last night I finished reading Nicola Barker’s monolithic novel Behindlings: an über-manic triumph for the imagination wired on a diet of speedball and Dr. Pepper. Barker is one of the most venerated novelists of her generation, winning the Impac Award at the turn of the millennium, and has been raking in the prizes and wonga ever since.

Behindlings is a throbbing headache of a novel. Her language kept me smiling and giggling for the first 200 pages – when her talent knew no fault, when her loopy
Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was one of the more confusing books I've read in the last few years, but ultimately, also one of the most satisfying; I spent the first half banging my head against the wall because there was just so much stuff going on, and the second half shouting around my fist because it was falling together in completely crazy, unexpected ways. Very enjoyable! Most definitely a great read to ring in 2008! I'd certainly look for more of Barker's books after this.
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
God this was difficult. I'm in two minds about it. On the one hand there are some outbursts of exceptionally fine writing, like this from chapter ten:

“Dewi chewed solemnly on a heavily-salted tomato sandwich as he peered through his living room window, his dust-iced skin zebraed by the sharp stripes of winter light which gushed, unapologetically – like hordes of white-frocked debutantes flashing their foaming silk petticoats in eager curtsies – between the regimented slats of his hand-built shut
Jun 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in Barker's Thames Gateway series, although I'm not entirely sure where the 'series' part is as the characters are different, the subject is different and the location is different. Maybe it's a British thing I don't understand. Anyway, the premise of the story is quirky and interesting. Like Wide Open, the reader enters the story where the characters pretty much know everything and it is a process to reveal it to the reader. I thought there were pieces of the story that ...more
Oct 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was great fun. I love Barker's weird imagination - to create such a strange cult character like Wesley is a feat. The story line is linear but written like a mystery novel - you don't get all the details, there are plenty of loose ends left open to the imagination, and she builds her characters slowly and systematically. I didn't give it a 5, however, because her writing style drives me insane. Where was her editor? If she was trying for stream of consciousness, she DIDN'T nail it. The ...more
Feb 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
I started this book forever-ago, and I should have kept at it and focused on finishing it in a much more timely manner. But I didn't -- the book hardly kept my attention for a full chapter at a time, so I kept putting it down and going back to it every now and then. As a result, I easily confused the characters and forgot who some were all together. This woman is an amazing writer and I'm sure this book is infinitely interesting, but it is very slow (on purpose, I believe) and often confusing, w ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keeper, bought-new
Move over Coe, there's a new favourite author in town. Barker's writing reminds me of why I fell in love with books in the first place. You read on, having no idea what's going to happen next (or, invariably, what's happening now) and, frankly, it doesn't matter because the here and now is such a pleasurable place to be, thanks to her gleefully joyful descriptions, similes and random tangents. What it never is, though, is twee, idyllic comedy: she's sufficiently potty-mouthed and downright nasty ...more
Ann M
May 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
I could not get into this book at all. One reviewer said it was "twee" -- good word for it.
Apr 21, 2009 rated it liked it
i found it bizarre and aggravating but strangely compelling
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Nicola Barker is an English writer.
Nicola Barker’s eight previous novels include Darkmans (short-listed for the 2007 Man Booker and Ondaatje prizes, and winner of the Hawthornden Prize), Wide Open (winner of the 2000 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), and Clear (long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2
More about Nicola Barker...

Other Books in the Series

Thames Gateway (3 books)
  • Wide Open (Thames Gateway, #1)
  • Darkmans (Thames Gateway, #3)