Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 20/09/2018
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'As a brilliantly realised extended metaphor for a totalitarian state it could be anywhere from Stasi-riddled East Germany, to Chile under Pinochet’s dictatorship to Salazar’s Portugal.' - New Statesman Anyone seeking evidence toward the buoyant health of Irish writing need look no further than Anna Burns’ triumphant Man Booker Prize victory for Milkman. Joining a very select group of Booker-winning Irish authors (including Anne Enright, Roddy Doyle and Iris Murdoch), Burns’ often amusing – but ultimately deeply disquieting – satire of the Troubles proved a hit with our customers long before the winner’s announcement. At the book’s heart, a teenager – whose only means of escape is literature – is slowly ground down by the unwanted attentions and creeping psychopathy of a paramilitary many years her senior. This is the secret state, a place where gossip and hearsay are weaponised methods of control, contained in a novel written with both a sad humour and a certain kind of fury. Eschewing mention of Belfast and cloaking every character in nameless anonymity, this is contemporary history rewritten as dystopia, where power and fear are wrought by rumour and half-truth. ‘It’s a novel,’ remarked an astute Irish Times, ‘about failing to remember and failing to forget; failing to speak and failing to remain silent.’

  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • ISBN: 9780571338757
  • Number of pages: 368
  • Weight: 304g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 22 mm

Customer Reviews

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Very difficult and different.
A very difficult read, there are no character names mentioned and you can easily get lost in the narrative. It is written in streams of consciousness, whic... READ MORE
Ian Paternoster
Cancel the Milkman
As a native of Northern Ireland and indeed spending a greater part of my teens in battle ridden Belfast I am well versed with the people and the country t... READ MORE
Oddly Likeable
When I first started this novel, I got around twenty pages in and considered stopping, reckoning that it was 'all a bit too much for my little head'. Howe... READ MORE
Amelia Howard
Not For Everyone
As much as the theme of the book interested me, the writing itself did my head in. I nearly capitulated. If it weren't for our local book club I wouldn't h... READ MORE
Lea Slavic
Milkman, by Anna Burns
This book is about how a whole community can become paranoid. The city is not named. Only one of the characters is named and that is only after she is ... READ MORE
David Kenvyn
Local hero
Brilliant written so close to home and local reality and very real!
Enyoyable read.
I found it hard to put down. Well worth reading.
Astutely historical
This book manages to be astutely historical almost without saying anything of its period. What others dismiss as a retrodden stream of consciousness is bet... READ MORE
Daniel Baksi
What Ar they doyne?
Haven't finished Milkman yet, but it is the best book I have ever read about Belfast. Ripley Bogle was excellent a few years back, but this is a cracker. ... READ MORE
John Feore
Everyday life in a state of siege
This is a brilliant book- it makes sense of a cruel non-sensical world. A world where every move is notes by the authorities- the army, the state, the neig... READ MORE
elaine keep
Quirky, original take on Ireland
I wasn't long into this Booker Prize winning book of 2018, when I realised that it was set in 1970s Northern Ireland, probably Belfast. Although nothing is... READ MORE
Jay Sefton
Difficult in the Cleverest of Ways
Winning the literary prizes can do wonders for a book’s sales – even if that win is considered controversial. Enter Milkman by Anna Burns, the winner of th... READ MORE
victoria sadler
Made me excited about reading again!
It has been such a long time since I have enjoyed a book so much, a serious topic with layers upon layers of hard hitting sub topics but which made me laug... READ MORE
Saabrin Hussain
Master piece
I have read this book a few years ago and I keep thinking about it. The style of writing of this book is unique; it reminds me of The Autumn of The Patriar... READ MORE
The Humble Reader