The Yips

The Yips

Nicola Barker

The hilarious Man Booker-longlisted novel from the author of ‘Darkmans’ and ‘The Burley Cross Postbox Theft’.

2006 is a foreign country; they do things differently there. Tiger Woods’ reputation is entirely untarnished and the English Defence League does not exist. But storm-clouds are gathering above the bar of Luton’s less-than-exclusive Thistle Hotel. Among those caught up in the unfolding drama are a man who’s survived cancer seven times, a woman priest with an unruly fringe, the troubled family of a notorious local fascist, an interfering barmaid with three E’s at A-level but a PhD in bullshit, a free-thinking Muslim sex therapist and his considerably more pious wife. But at the heart of every intrigue and the bottom of every mystery is the repugnantly charismatic Stuart Ransom – a golfer in free-fall.

Reviews of The Yips

    • ‘Barker is ostensibly a comic writer, and is indeed snort-inducingly funny at times … What’s more – just about uniquely in this country – she is thinking intelligently and critically about how to make [a realist] tradition work in the present day. But it’s not for her virtue that she deserves to be read; it’s for pleasure.’ Keith Miller, Daily Telegraph
    • ‘There are moments when Stuart Ransom has the vulgar bravura of John Self in Martin Amis’s ‘Money’ … but Barker is unique and it’s for the pleasures of her style that one reads her.’ Kate Kellaway, Observer
    • ‘Dementedly imaginative … stomach-turningly hilarious … What she has written is a state of the nation novel of the sort Dickens and Hogarth might have jointly conjured up had they ever visited Luton.’ Michael Prodger, Financial Times
    • ‘Barker is at once sui generis and the Google-age inheritor of a tradition. The first third or so of the book gives us a Chaucerian sketch show sequence of comic set-pieces … then it takes a left turn into Shakespeare territory’ Sam Leith, Guardian
    • ‘Barker captures – and lovingly distorts – both the rhythms and banality of language. She is, as it were, Harold Pinter on crack’ Justin Cartwright, The Spectator
    • ‘A specialist in likeable British grotesques … wackier siblings to those in Hilary Mantel’s ‘Beyond Black’. ‘The Yips’ cannot be faulted for its free-flowing imagination’ Tom Cox, Independent.