Professional procrastination

I’m into the last chapter of Echoes, comfortably a couple of weeks behind schedule. This draft may be finished by the end of this week. Maybe. I now have a beta reader lined up for the beginning of January and, whilst I could probably do with a couple more edits, I plan to send whatever I’ve got on New Year’s Day because at this stage I just need someone to tell me whether it’s worth me persisting with this or whether I’ve spent the last six months created 80,000+ words worth of nonsense.

But I have been reading, and have finished another book worthy of a review. So here you go, here’s what I thought of

Milkman – by Anna Burns

How did I come to be reading it?

This is another one plucked at random off the tbr pile. When I intially downloaded it last month I was under the impression that I’d acquired it as a Amazon First Reads freebie, but then I saw that it had won the 2018 Booker Prize and decided that couldn’t be right. Turns out my wife bought it in early 2020. I was looking for an easy read, which it really wasn’t…

What’s it about?

It’s about an 18 year old woman who lives in an unnamed city in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, who is stalked by an older, high-ranking paramilitary. The community in which she lives starts to believe that she’s having an affair with him. One summary I read describes it as being about the consequences of inaction, which does make sense. Because lots of things happen during the story, don’t get me wrong… but at the same time nothing really happens at all.

What did I think of it?

It’s great. My previous comments may not have conveyed this but I found it completely compelling. It’s written in an almost stream-of-consciousness style, with the narrator using incredibly long sentences and going off at lengthy tangents, with people and places left vague and unnamed, which gives it a dreamlike, other-worldly feel. Or maybe a this-world-but-kept-at-arms-length feel, which is how the narrator deals with the violent consequences of the politics that surround her. It’s an immersive book, a huge story told in a small way, and also a lot of small stories told in a huge way. I finished it a few days ago and still feel slightly stunned by it, which is quite an impact for a book to have, I think.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *