Dark humour pervades the Milkman, an unsettling story of prejudice and intimidation.
I picked this one up because it was the Man Booker Winner in 2018. Opinions of these literary winners are often divisive and I can see some people not enjoying this.
Overall, I found myself unsettled and challenged by the disturbing story and the unusual writing style. But it’s lingering with me.
Burns’ voice is strong and new and I still recommended reading it. Just give yourself time to get into the rhythm.
In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous…
Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.
“That experience of relaxing into it, of walking out the door and slipping the book out of the pocket, of sinking into the paragraph coming up after the recently left-off paragraph, had changed since the stalking, also since the rumouring, since even the state forces had got suspicious…”
My Book #6 of 2019
Milkman: A Novel
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
AWARDS: Man Booker Prize Winner 2018
GENRE: Literary fiction