Josh Ang's Reviews > Darkmans

Darkmans by Nicola Barker
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's review
Jan 25, 2011

liked it
Read in November, 2008

Primarily about the estranged relationship between Beede and his drug-pusher layabout son, the layers of their relationship and back history are peeled away amidst the olde English spirit possession of Beede's Germanic friend Isidore.

And that's where the story spirals out of control as Barker tries to add too many ingredients into her mix. The supernatural elements didn't quite gel... After a while I got really irritated with the constant intrusion of the characters' thoughts even as they converse at cross purposes with each other...

I get the idea the John Scogin, King Edward IV's court jester, is the Darkmans referred to, and that his spirit possesses Isidore to do crazy things, and that in some weird metaphysical twist, his son Fleet, who seems borderline autistic, is actually an older spirit in a 'The Child is the Father of Man' fashion (apologies to Wordsworth), but I must admit that by the end of 838 pages, I was much too tired to care either way.

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