Clear: A Transparent Novel

Nicola Barker

*Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2004

*A Granta Best of British Novelist 2003

*Winner of the IMPAC PRIZE for her novel
Wide Open

On 5th September 2003, New York Illusionist David Blaine entered a small perspex box adjacent to the River Thames and commenced starving himself. Forty-four days later – on 19th October – he left the box, four stone lighter. That much, at least, is clear.

And the rest? The crowds? The chaos? The hype? The rage? The rows? The lust? The filth? The bullshit? The hypocrisy?

Nicola Barker fearlessly crams all that and more into this ribald and outrageous peep show of a novel, her most irreverent, caustic, up-to-the-minute work yet, laying bare the heart of our contemporary world, a world of illusion, delusion, celebrity and hunger.

Reviews of Clear: A Transparent Novel

    • ‘Compelling. Barker’s narrative draws us in with the disturbing, surreal touch of a latter-day Lewis Carroll.’ Sunday Times
    • ‘Dazzling… She celebrates the complexity of human experience.’’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.’ 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.’ New York Times