back in the saddle again

I’ll be back when the battery has re-charged and after I have hit my book again, still working on Footnotes/Bibliography. (When I say hit, I don’t mean hit, I mean I’m manning another assault on my project, hoping to wrap it up, soon.) (I hope.)

And what about Christmas? Throw another blog on the fire.

The day is not yet over. And I finally finished reading Milkman, the much maligned Man Booker Prize winner this year, by Anna Burns. I’ve read several reviews, NOT recommending it, warning people off, in fact, and when I was not well into it and struggling, I was inclined to agree with them and tempted to follow their warnings and quit. Still,l I was curious. So I persevered, but I did something I never do: I skimmed and skipped.

I got through that tedious (to-me) preamble, although I see now that it wasn’t. More than editorial, it set the background and tone of distrust, rumour, malice, tension, fear, helplessness and ironic acceptance - in Belfast, during The Troubles, though time and place are never mentioned, nor are characters given names. Later it got funnier - really. The biggest section (you can hardly call it a chapter) is number Three. I promised myself to get to the end of that and then drop it. That’s when I started to jump and skim…and picked up on other characters and events and funny, really deeply funny, character behaviour.

One of the reviewers I read said he would not recommend the book to anyone. Others simply warned readers. Well , I’ll warn you, too, but as i look back on it, I think it is a remarkable piece of writing. I’m still thinking about it.

I might even read it again.