by Nicola Barker
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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.
‘English fiction’s great eccentric offers up a typically riotous saga’ Guardian
‘There are moments when Stuart Ransom has the vulgar bravura of John Self in martin Amis’s Money and occasionally the novel also reminds one of Hilary Mantel – a comparable master of dark comedy. But Barker is unique and it’s for the pleasures of her style that one reads her.’ Kate Kellaway, Observer
‘She is scatological, mischievous, subversive and original. Barker’s transfiguration of the commonplace is radically unlike Muriel Spark’s, but no less dazzling’. The Times, Ruth Scurr
‘… we are reminded that Barker is a novelist of both epically large and trivially small … The result is more consistently surprising that War and Peace, at least.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘There is nothing conventional about THE YIPS … its originality, its charm or its peculiar beauty. Barker is in many ways a challenging and discomforting writer, yet her work is full of straightforward reading pleasures. She combines serious intentions with lightness of touch, toughness with compassion, and has a unique imagination’ Sunday Times