Les obsessions. L'histoire. La folie. Dans cette histoire de fantôme contemporaine, le passé médiéval prend visage humain et vient hanter les arrière-cours de la petite ville d'Ashford, semant le chaos dans les vies qu'elle croise sur son chemin. Dans un roman démesuré comme la folie, où l'humour féroce le dispute à la précision absolue de l'écriture, l'art de Nicola Barker confine au génie.
Le 5 septembre 2003, l'illusionniste new-yorkais David Blaine entre dans une boîte en plexiglas transparente au-dessus de la Tamise et entame un jeûne. Quarante-quatre jours plus tard, il en ressort avec trente kilos de moins. En prenant pour sujet les interrogations violentes suscitée par cette performance, Nicola Barker nous invite à un peep-show romanesque hilarant et roboratif sur la condition humaine, et livre une puissante réflexion sur le roman, cette boîte transparente dans laquelle se débattent des personnages pour des lecteurs pornographes.
The first novel from the brilliantly unconventional Nicola Barker is a tale of gambling, allergies, music and dogs, set in some of London's less scenic locations.Chance meetings between its cast of eccentric individuals - Ruby the bookie's cashier, violently disturbed (and disturbing) Vincent, Samantha the would-be cabaret singer, wilfully sickly Sylvia and Little Buttercup the never-quite-made-it greyhound - result in the unlikeliest of couples; and there's always the risk that it could all work out disastrously as characters select each other and try or don't try to make winning combinations. But, as Ruby, the story's soft-centred heroine, observes: 'Losing, that's the whole point of the gamble.'
From the brilliantly unconventional Nicola Barker, the short stories in 'Love Your Enemies' present a loving depiction of the beautiful, the grotesque and the utterly bizarre in the lives of overlooked suburban Britons.Layla Carter, 16, from North London, is utterly overwhelmed by her plus-size nose. Rosemary, recently widowed and the ambivalent owner of a bipolar tomcat, meets a satyr in her kitchen and asks, 'Can I feel your fur?'In these ten enticingly strange short stories, a series of marginalised characters seek truth in the obsession and oppression of everyday existence, via a canine custody battle, sex in John Lewis and some strangely expressive desserts.
Shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker PrizeAn epic novel of startling originality which confirms Nicola Barker as one of Britain's most exciting literary talents.This is a rowdy, riotous tale, a tale in which the medieval past takes on a face, name, and occupation and roams around the humdrum town of Ashford, bringing chaos to the lives of those it picks on. No one is safe: not upstanding Beede and his drug-dealing son, nor teen chav Kelly who zestily finds God (much to the dismay of the Reverend responsible), or Gaffar, the tiny, amorous Kurd with an unusual fear of salad.Darkmans is a world where language snaps and crackles like static, twitching with barely containable energy. Past and present mingle and blur, and the lines between fantasy and reality, sanity and madness are continually rubbed out and redrawn - but by whose hand? And what about the grand scheme of things - is life a coincidence or is it a pattern, plotted by all-seeing, unknown forces?The third of Nicola Barker's visionary narratives of the Thames Gateway, Darkmans is a very modern book about very old-fashioned subjects: love and jealousy. It's also about invasion, obsession, displacement and possession, about comedy, art, prescription drugs and chiropody. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2007 and following on from Wide Open (winner Dublin IMPAC award 2000) and Behindlings it confirms Nicola Barker as one of Britain's most original, innovative and exciting literary talent.
From the award-winning author of Darkmans comes a comic epistolary novel of startling originality and wit.Reading other people's letters is always a guilty pleasure. But for two West Yorkshire policemen - contemplating a cache of 27 undelivered missives, retrieved from a back alley behind the hairdresser's in Skipton - it's also a job of work. The quaint moorside village of Burley Cross has been plunged into turmoil by the theft of the contents of its postbox, and when PC Roger Topping takes over the case, which his higher-ranking schoolmate Sergeant Laurence Everill has so far failed to crack, his expectations of success are not high.Yet Topping's investigation into the curtain-twitching lives of Jeremy Baverstock, Baxter Thorndyke, the Jonty Weiss-Quinns, Mrs Tirza Parry (widow), and a splendid array of other weird and wonderful characters, will not only uncover the dark underbelly of his scenic beat, but also the fundamental strengths of his own character.The denizens of Burley Cross inhabit a world where everyone's secrets are worn on their sleeves, pettiness becomes epic, little is writ large. From complaints about dog shit to passive-aggressive fanmail, from biblical amateur dramatics to an Auction of Promises that goes staggeringly, horribly wrong, Nicola Barker's epistolary novel is a work of immense comic range. It is also unlike anything she has written before. Brazenly mischievous and irresistibly readable, Burley Cross Postbox Theft is a Crnford for today, albeit with a decent dose of Tamiflu, some dodgy sex-therapy and a whiff of cheap-smelling vodka.
The sly and subversive sixth book from Nicola Barker, one of our most funny and anarchic writers.It's the summer of 1981. Medve, sixteen years old and six foot three inches tall (a positive girl giant) is stuck in a semi-derelict art-deco hotel on a tiny island off the South coast of Devon, with the rest of her crazy family members. There's nothing to do but paint Margaret Thatcher mugs to supplement the meagre family income, wait for Soft Cell's 'Tainted Love' to come out and dream of literary murderer Jack Henry Abbott.Into this family affair, strolls 19-year-old La Roux (The Sauce), a deserter from the South African army with flaming ginger hair. It's not long before Medve and La Roux embark on a barbed flirtation, full of simmering sexuality and bad intentions, which ends in the very destructive "Operation Vagina'... things will never be the same again.
From the internationally acclaimed, Man Booker-shortlisted Nicola Barker comes a new novel, a post-post apocalyptic story that overflows with pure creative talent.Imagine a perfect world where everything is known, where everything is open, where there can be no doubt, no hatred, no poverty, no greed. Imagine a System which both nurtures and protects. A Community which nourishes and sustains. An infinite world. A world without sickness, without death. A world without God. A world without fear.Could you...might you be happy there?H(A)PPY is a post-post apocalyptic Alice in Wonderland, a story which tells itself and then consumes itself. It's a place where language glows, where words buzz and sparkle and finally implode. It's a novel which twists and writhes with all the terrifying precision of a tiny fish in an Escher lithograph - a book where the mere telling of a story is the end of certainty.
Quelques jours avant Noël, la boîte aux lettres du charmant petit village de Burley Cross est fracturée. Le sergent Roger Topping est chargé de déterminer si des lettres ont pu être subtilisées. Il se met à éplucher les lettres une à une, découvrant petits travers et secrets intimes, querelles de voisinage et haines tenaces. À l'heure d'Internet, Nicola Barker compose un roman épistolaire fantasque et délirant et mène l'enquête au coeur de la campagne anglaise.