Arcs Barker, Nicola Behindlings

ISBN 13: 9780060185695

Behindlings

3.38 avg rating
( 220 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780060185695: Behindlings

The breakthrough commercial novel from one of the greatest comic writers in the language.

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, lie in wait for him around every corner. They are his followers – he calls them the behindlings. And they themselves make quite an ensemble, gathering together their own scabby intentions, irritating habits and weird manners to bury all difference in the common pursuit of their prize, their Wesley.

Then there are those who simply stay put. While Wesley and his Followers are forever on the move, someone like Catherine Turpin lies defiantly in the bed she makes for herself, while, outside, her failings are broadcast to all, painted on walls even – though the curious and the weak still return to her door, to her hydrangea and her stink. And when one of Wesley's newest Followers, Jo Bean, turns out to be more interested in confronting Catherine than winning the race of the behindlings, a few January days on Canvey Island see much of what has been ravelled up for altogether too long come very undone. A cold snap produces an uncommon amount of heat, light, orphans, messing about in boats and just the one unforgettable heron.

With Behindlings, the inimitable and ungovernable Nicola Barker takes a character who is perhaps her most compelling creation to date, gives him his head and this novel, and sees him run off with her readers. It is a pretty sight.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Behindlings, the fifth novel from Nicola Barker, is a welcome return, both in mood and in geography, to the gothic terrain of her Impac Prize winner Wide Open. Set in parochial Canvey Island, Essex, this book has more in common with the television comedy The League of Gentlemen and the cult film The Wicker Man than a work of contemporary literary fiction. It is inventive, funny, unnerving and often magnificently strange.

Barker's Canvey (once dubbed "Candy Island" by Daniel Defoe) is, with its Wimpy Bar, dreary pubs and long-cherished grudges, rumours and secrets, a quintessentially English small town. Its emotionally damaged population is augmented by the "Behindlings" of the title, a gaggle of oddballs who follow, or more precisely obsessively stalk, the novel's enigmatic central character, Wesley. The architect of a chocolate company-funded treasure hunt, author of a pseudo-Nietzschean walking guide and the man behind the daring theft of an antique pond, he is a rather malevolent Pied Piper. Part Alvin Toffler-quoting, peripatetic environmental visionary, part immoral (and maybe downright evil) fraudster; he's also notorious for feeding the fingers on his right hand to an eagle owl "in an act of penance" for accidentally killing his brother.

Would-be-prizewinners and cranks are not the only ones drawn into his orbit. Josephine Bean, a local nurse and environmental campaigner; Katherine Turpin, a lascivious beansprout farmer maligned in his walking book; Arthur Young, a former employee of the treasure hunt's sponsors and Ted, the island's estate agent and closet seamstress, all seem to have a few reasons of their own for keeping an eye on Wesley.

Barker has always had a penchant for the surreal, and occasionally here both plot and characterisation can get swamped in flights of absurdist imagination. She is perhaps, too fond of the elaborate simile. The clackety, clackety of the "like a" and "as a" of her prose style is, from time to time, a little exasperating. Despite this, her narrative is so alluringly, so charmingly odd, bristling with puzzles and etymological games and full of wonderfully, devilishly comic touches, that it's easy to ignore its minor flaws. --Travis Elborough

Review:

'Marvellously inventive, a cornucopia of cornucopias all the way to its brilliant non-ending – its refusal to end. It is a new kind of book, and an intense kind of joy.' Ali Smith, TLS

'Compelling. Barker's narrative draws us in with the disturbing, surreal touch of a latter-day Lewis Carroll.' Michelene Wandor, Sunday Times

'Dazzling… She celebrates the complexity of human experience.' Frank Egerton, The Times

'Insanely inventive. Her vision of a marginal Britain populated by drifters and desperados is fired by a comic energy that dances on the edge of self-combustion.' Alex Clark, Guardian

'Fucked up, fucked off and totally, weirdly brilliant.' Eithne Farry, Elle

'Extraordinary. Full of deadpan wit, black comedy and visual slapstick., the novel delights most through its imaginative extravagances.' Katie Owen, Sunday Telegraph

'An intriguing satire on the nature of celebrity and the current confused state of our culture. Playful, dark, comic and cruel.' Kath Murphy, Scotland on Sunday

'Behindlings is an exquisite diversion and, more importantly, a true original.' Arena

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Barker, Nicola
ISBN 10: 0060185694 ISBN 13: 9780060185695
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Golden Bridge Books
(Ottawa, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Ships From Canada. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 535 pages. From Booklist: British writer Barker's offbeat novel about Wesley, a feral man with weird, charismatic powers, and his scruffy and fanatic followers ushers readers into a flagrantly peculiar, topsy-turvy realm. As Wesley wanders the countryside, leading the entranced public on an elaborate treasure hunt that has already claimed a boy's life, the Behindlings, misfits of various ages and maladies, obsess about every detail of his life and track his every move on an avidly consulted Web site. The seductive Wesley is either diabolically cruel and manipulative, or suffering from a massive guilt trip over causing his brother's death, and Jo Bean, an enigmatic nurse, has a unique opportunity to determine which it is after she joins the eccentric ranks of the Behindlings on the island of Canvey. Soon the entire community is involved, from Ted, the foppish real-estate agent, to Eileen, the sexy librarian, to the carpenter, Dewi, an. Bookseller Inventory # 8794140805

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.19
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 15.89
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Barker, Nicola
Published by Ecco, New York, New York, U.S.A. (2002)
ISBN 10: 0060185694 ISBN 13: 9780060185695
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Golden Bridge Books
(Ottawa, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Ecco, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 535 pages. From Booklist: British writer Barker's offbeat novel about Wesley, a feral man with weird, charismatic powers, and his scruffy and fanatic followers ushers readers into a flagrantly peculiar, topsy-turvy realm. As Wesley wanders the countryside, leading the entranced public on an elaborate treasure hunt that has already claimed a boy's life, the Behindlings, misfits of various ages and maladies, obsess about every detail of his life and track his every move on an avidly consulted Web site. The seductive Wesley is either diabolically cruel and manipulative, or suffering from a massive guilt trip over causing his brother's death, and Jo Bean, an enigmatic nurse, has a unique opportunity to determine which it is after she joins the eccentric ranks of the Behindlings on the island of Canvey. Soon the entire community is involved, from Ted, the foppish real-estate agent, to Eileen, the sexy librarian, to the carpenter, Dewi, and the love of his life, his outrageous neighbor Katharine, who is also the target of Wesley's most vicious machinations. Banter-filled, wry, and slightly otherworldly, Barker's earthy, inventive, hilarious, and wickedly satirical novel is enormously entertaining. Donna Seaman Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved Book Description Spurting with kinetic energy, nasty wit, and kindness to animals, Wesley ought to be a star. Or so it seems to the "Behindlings"--followers who nip at his heels, turn up everywhere he goes, and lie in wait for him around every corner. They skulk through the dreary streets of their tiny English town, gathering their own scabby intentions, irritating habits, and weird manners, burying all differences in the common pursuit of their true prize, their Wesley. In Behindlings, the inimitable and ungovernable Nicola Barker takes her most compelling character to date, gives him his head and her novel, and sees him run off with her readers. --This text refers to the Paperback edition. About the Author Nicola B. Bookseller Inventory # 0003210

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
16.40
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 15.89
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Nicola Barker
Published by Ecco (2003)
ISBN 10: 0060185694 ISBN 13: 9780060185695
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Ecco, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060185694

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
31.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.18
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Barker, Nicola
Published by Ecco (2003)
ISBN 10: 0060185694 ISBN 13: 9780060185695
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Ecco, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060185694

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
35.62
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Barker, Nicola
Published by Ecco (2003)
ISBN 10: 0060185694 ISBN 13: 9780060185695
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Ecco, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060185694

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
43.52
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.38
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Barker, Nicola
Published by Ecco, U.S.A. (2002)
ISBN 10: 0060185694 ISBN 13: 9780060185695
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
rarefirsts
(Charlotte Hall, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Ecco, U.S.A., 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First EDition stated, with correct number line sequence, no writing, marks, underlining, or bookplates. No remainder marks. Spine is tight and crisp. Boards are flat and true and the corners are square. Dust jacket is not price-clipped. This collectible, " NEW" condition first edition/first printing copy is protected with a polyester archival dust jacket cover. Beautiful collectible copy. Perfect in every way. GIFT QUALITY. Bookseller Inventory # 000908

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
40.97
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 5.53
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Nicola Barker
ISBN 10: 0060185694 ISBN 13: 9780060185695
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800601856951.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
86.57
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.18
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds