Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Milkman by Anna Burns

Milkman by Anna Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a knockout. We don't know the city where it takes place or the characters' names, but it appears to be set in Northern Ireland in the '70s during the Troubles.

Milkman by Anna Burns won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for fiction, and you can easily see why. Burns employs an original, striking writing style in her tale of one invisible girl in a world of invisible women, and what happens when that girl becomes visible to a dangerous man whose unwanted attentions nearly unravel her life.

It's also a tale of rumor, hearsay, inaction and powerlessness, and the destruction those things can cause.

The reviews for the audiobook narration were so strong that I actually started this one as a listen, making use of an Audible credit (listen to a sample here). Soon after, the ebook on hold at the library became available, so I took the opportunity to enjoy this book in both formats. Thanks to Kindle whispersync, I easily switched between the two.

Many reviewers of the printed book said they got lost at times navigating the somewhat stream-of-consciousness tale, but I didn't experience that. The stellar narration of the audiobook, read with perfect timing and inflection by BrĂ­d Brennan, helps guide the listener, making this book easier to follow for those who might otherwise get thrown off course by a few passages. When I wanted to speed through because I was dying to see what came next, I'd switch to the ebook. It was a wonderful way to experience this engrossing tale.

Great Line: "People always said you'd better be careful. Though how, when things are out of your hands, when things were never really in your hands, when things are stacked against you, does a person – the little person down here on the earth – be that?" 

Note: I finished this book in January 2019 at time when I'd taken a break from blogging. I reviewed it for Goodreads, though, and am belatedly adding the review of this wonderful book here.

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