Although I didn’t realise it at the time, this is the second book I have read by Nicola Barker. The first one was Wide Open, which I read whilst a member of a book club. I have to admit I didn’t really like that book, and it’s always stayed in my mind as I book I just didn’t get.

However, I was very young when I read that, and so I started reading this book with an open mind…

I’m really sorry to say though that I really struggled with this book. It’s not a story, well it is, sort of, it has a theme running through if of ‘Uncle’, and his carer (whose name I don’t think I really found out until the end), but it flits of in different directions, into long garbled explanations of random, incomprehensible babble about “salt” and other random things, which then pop up again later on, and still not making any sense. I did think at one point I had worked it out when I realised that someone was making a film, and I actually enjoyed reading the book for a bit, thinking that I’d finally found the thread, but then it just went off again somewhere else and I never heard mention of this film again.

I found myself increasingly exasperated and indeed very irritated at one point, when, after a person was mentioned it was followed by a sound “ting”, “clown horn”, etc, etc, which just really really annoyed me! It just made no sense.

I hate to write a bad review, and considering the author has been shortlisted and longlisted for Man Booker prize (books I often lean towards, and just realising I haven’t reviewed on here the last two….considering I loved them…), then I have to conclude that it is just me, for the second time, just not understanding this author. I just did not get it, and it just irritated me! Sorry….

My thanks, as ever to Netgalley and Penguin Randon House UK for this copy of the book.

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