Behindlings

Nicola Barker

A brilliantly funny novel from one of our most unconventional literary talents, Nicola Barker.

Some people follow the stars. Some people follow the soaps. Some people follow rare birds, or obscure bands, or the form, or the football.

Wesley prefers not to follow. He thinks that to follow anything too assiduously is a sign of weakness. Wesley is a prankster, a maverick, a charismatic manipulator, an accidental murderer who longs to live his life anonymously. But he can’t. It is his awful destiny to be hotly pursued – secretly stalked, obsessively hunted – by a disparate group of oddballs he calls The Behindlings. Their motivations? Love, boredom, hatred, revenge.

Reviews of Behindlings

    • ‘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
    • ‘Barker’s eccentrics are the stuff of pure farce. And they allow her to reinvent, joyously, the cogs, gears and mechanics of the genre. She knows, as Wodehouse also knew, how to rev up the language, do baroque variations on a phrase, even break into a kind of poetry. Sheer wit and energy make “Behindlings” an excellent candidate for a cult novel – and not just a very good novel about a cult.’ Michael Pye, New York Times
    • ‘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