[EPUB] ✸ King of the Badgers By Philip Hensher – Pdfr25.co


11 thoughts on “King of the Badgers

  1. says:

    Picturesque Hinmouth lies on an estuary in the southwest of England, and is close to Barnstaple University These are obvious stand ins for Exmouth Exeter and the University of Exeter where Philip Hensher teaches English , and he surveys the lay of the social land with an intimate, brilliantly detailed eye What happens to the snobs, yobs, busy bodies, have nots and ne er do wells of Hinmouth and its suburban hinterland when a little girl goes missing and her unappealing family s story doesn t add up In setting this going, Hensher writes with a darkly comic flourish and a wicked precision about the modern English niceties that makes you think of Jane Austen By page 100, though, it seems to me, two different things have started to go wrong.Technically, what goes wrong is that Hensher introduces too many characters, makes their interconnections too vague and episodic, and in general connects scenes and themes as if he has heard of Impressionism but not seen it To put it another way every scene without exception is a good draft scene, but a good editor would have killed two thirds of the darlings Sure, this is not the sort of book in which every sentence should be a cog in the plot But for instance why does the author think we should care about Mauro Here In this book The bigger problem is harder to articulate, and defend as a cogent criticism, but perhaps I can explain to some people what I mean when I say this I kept being reminded of why I so strongly dislike almost everything Martin Amis has ever written, regardless of how well written it is It s a question of moral atmosphere, I suppose The laughter in Austen is light, even when mordant, and always compassionate The laughter here seems colored by a cheap, shallow, depressingly clever schoolboyish cynicism You can identify strongly, as I do, with Hensher s evident anger that England has been turned into a sort of open prison ruled by meekly accepted authorities The current Pry Minister, David Cameron, is as witless a fool about these aspects of national life as was his predecessor David and Tony, may you burn in hell, naked and surrounded by security cameras But it is hard to avoid the sense that Hensher thinks these problems plus the crime, the death of manners, the snobbery and shabbiness and everything else are to be recorded only with bitter laughter, since after all we or the characters deserve it It s striking that he seems to exhibit real sympathy for one gay couple, one elderly widow, and almost no one else Both problems contribute to the book s fatal slackness of rhythm its surprising in the end, despite all the good bits dreariness.


  2. says:

    I bought and read this last November, as a kind of antidote to Julian Barnes s The Sense of an Ending The thin gruel of that effort, with its dull, forgettable main protagonist left me with an appetite for a real story, with characters that would actually engage the reader s interest And yes, stretching this tortured metaphor a little farther, Hensher s book satisfied my craving it s a hearty beef stew or maybe a bouillabaisse , with a large cast of characters, satisfyingly complex plotting, written with a kind of malicious affection The book is set in the fictional seaside town of Hanfield, a kind of smug, upper middle class enclave The story opens with the abduction of a child in broad daylight the subsequent investigation and media frenzy shatters the complacency of locals As the story progresses, Hensher digs below the surface, exposing the foibles of his characters with a certain malicious glee, but also with affection The development is tightly controlled than in the somewhat undisciplined Northern Clemency , and the writing is excellent A good story, well told I enjoyed it very much.


  3. says:

    Dedication ToTheGang bertieand J.B.and Samand Ritaand Ralfand Juliaand Yusefanf Jimmyand renaudand Richardand Alan againand Lapin againand Professor Aand Dickie Heat Hotand not forgetting Nix Hi Nicola and Mrs Blaikie with love from Rufus and Herbert who said it s all quite laconic oncebut especially and always and once for my husbandand really just to say to all of them and probably some others tooWhatFunIt sAllBeen GR does not allow center command, so I have to point out that this dedication forms an aeroplane outline Opening BOOK ONENOTHING TO HIDEThat bowler hatted major, his face is twitching,He s been in captivity too long.He needs a new war and a tank in the desert.The fat legs of the typists are getting readyFor the boys and the babies At the back of my mindAn ant stands up and defies a steam roller GAVIN EWART, Serious Matters Last year, at the hot end of spring, in the small town of Hanmouth on the Hain estuary, a rowing boat floated in the middle of the muddy stream.Bookmark is Piazza Navona sent through from Hayes thankee.Every mother s nightmare XX hasn t come back from the shop P 34 greasy steps and iron escalators of the Underground, diagonal, hung and groaningly floating over great unspecified voids, like public transport envisaged in a nightmare by Piranesi.P.64 Kitty, libraries aren t for reading books any, Sam said, They ve given them all away It s nothing but DVDs and computer terminals nowadays.Literary references alluded to Thomas HardyThe Royal Hunt of the SunNazi Literature in the Americas The Makioka Sisters Kubla KhanHay FeverOedipus TyrannusThe Cherry OrchardParliament of BirdsSylvia PlathVirginia WoolfLove the writing style but not this tale so I would read another Hensher as long as it isn t such a boring storyline.


  4. says:

    After his Sheffield saga THE NORTHERN CLEMENCY, Philip Hensher relocates to a small select township on the Bristol Channel with KING OF THE BADGERS where does he get these weird titles from I m sure many readers will take a guess at where Hanmouth is meant to be.The book begins with the disappearance of an 8 year old girl from the council estate on the outskirts The case seems to fizzle out until a surprise discovery much later in the story What Hensher concentrates on is giving a picture of the criss crossing lives of the middle class retirees and shop keepers on the best street in town Some of these are people one would be happy to have as neighbours others are not There are several busybodies, including the obnoxious organizer of Neighbourhood Watch Hanmouth is heavily watched by CCTV One couple are living way beyond their means.Blessed are the cheese makers The gay proprietor of the cheese shop and his chum host an orgy for their Bear friends which the author describes in choreographic rather than pornographic detail One of the guests, the visiting son of neighbours, is a sad fat queen with a hopeless crush on a hunky Italian who s sponging off him shamelessly.This is a big sprawling novel that often wanders into James Joyce Virginia Woolf stream of consciousness writing that I would have preferred to see less of It s at its best as a kind of rustic soap opera, a literary street scene like a Breugel or Lowry painting brought to life All human life is there Didn t that use to be the motto of a Sunday newspaper I wonder what happened to it


  5. says:

    To say that King of the Badgers is a strange book, is putting it mildly I learned about the book by accident while reading the status of one of my favorite authors She said that Hensher had made a disparaging statement about thrillers I guess it s a matter of taste I like a good crime novel myself, but I do like to indulge in good literature also This book was strange but so well written, I couldn t put it down Hensher doesn t like all of the CCTV cameras that are all over Britain I confess I wouldn t like them either although I must admit that if you are in a crime ridden area or a large city, you might feel safer The book starts out with the kidnapping of a little girl However, you really don t have a whole lot of empathy for the little girl who is totally unappealing or the slatternly mother or awful stepfather She lives in a working class suburb of a small Devon town that has become very upscale in the last few years It is on the water, there are lovely little fishermens cottages now transformed into upscale residences, new flats that have obstructed the views of previous inhabitants, upscale shopping including a cheese shop run by a gay man named Sam and his partner, Harry, also known as Lord What A Waste I don t think Henshaw likes anyone He has equal disdain for the working class, the middle class and the upper class it seems We meet the creepy head of the neighborhood watch, appropriately named John Calvin In addition there is the Brigadier and Billa, an elderly couple, Miranda she s a marvel and Kenyon, her husband Miranda runs the monthly book club with an iron hand No light reading here when Miranda has anything to do with it She teaches English literature at a second rate college and is thrilled to have one non white student Kenyon is a Dept of the Treasury employee on indefinite loan to an Aids in Africa project He spends most of his time in London and one day of that workweek in the arms of his lover who happens to be the father of Miranda s one non white student Miranda and Kenyon have a teenage daughter who still plays with dolls that have names like Child Pornographer and Slightly Jewish Harry Lord What A Waste and Sam consider themselves husband and husband although they do get together with the Bears, a group of bearded and mostly overweight gay men With the help of drugs and alcohol they have a private orgy every few months Catherine Alec are a retired couple who moved to the town after visiting Alec s former secretary and her husband who live in a nearby town They buy one of the flats that obstruct other people s views Their son, David, is visiting He is fat, unstylish and gay and is bringing along an Italian gigolo named Mauro, passing him off as his boyfriend Catherine invites some of the neighbors to meet her son and his partner The neighbors come out of obligation, but find they are having a nice time after all Winding its way through the book a lot in the beginning, then a little at the end is the missing child This is one of those somewhat dry but witty books At the very beginning, the author describes a bee hive It looked like a miniature tongue and groove New England lunatic asylum How can you not want to read


  6. says:

    Hanmouth, Devon is an English village where the town s inhabitants are happily living their daily lives In the interests of civic safety they have agreed to install CCTV As the story unfolds we also see their lives from the inside and all is not what it always appears to be Why is Sylvie making collages out of penises cut from magazines Why is the Brigadier s wife always so chipper What makes the new couple in town think they will fit in Will their son enjoy his visit and who is his new friend Do Miranda and Kenyon know each other, let alone their crazy daughter, Heidi And why do the people on the neighbouring council estate have to call their suburb Hanmouth, when it quite obviously really isn t And pervading the novel throughout is Mr John Calvin s insistence that Neighbourhood Watch keeps authorising cameras A mix of motivations and intentions all slowly build to create a quirky picture of what really is going on.The biggest surprise to me was the in your face gay sex party that is hosted for the Bears by local cheese shop owner, Sam and his boy friend Harry or Lord what a waste It does circumspectly take place behind the tightly closed curtains Throughout the novel one character remains distinctly unknown She is young China, a girl from the other Hanmouth who disappears and even the CCTV footage doesn t seem able to help This is a slow moving, beautifully written novel Enjoy it for its language and what it does and doesn t tell you Its journey may be enjoyable for you than its destination.Reviewed by Andrew Rumbles Andrew gayexpress.co.nz


  7. says:

    I absolutely loved this book I like everything Hensher has written but I enjoyed this book probably the most He is a snob but his snobbery is a scattergun affair no one is safe the smug, the rich, the poor, the dull and the eccentric all get a sharp seeing to before he marches on to have a go at someone else.The story is about a town, which is on the face of it, a perfect English seaside town but literally no one is as they seem I particularly like the way the writer is quite savage with a character initially but then explores their vulnerability slowly and much sympathetically so that by the end, you have grown, if not exactly to like them, to at least care for them.The gay sex scene was a bit of an experience but proof of how good his writing is that I almost felt like I was there.I ve read several sniffy reviews of his book, which I find interesting as I feel his sharp observations aren t quite right for the literary world as I think, in some part, he s mocking them tooA definite great read.


  8. says:

    There s already a really good review on GR by a reader called David, so I m just going to redirect folk to his review rather than trying to write my own because David has expressed pretty much everything I thought about this brilliant book Brilliant being one of the terms the American boy adopted in his attempts to be British I loved this book and I too thought it read like a contemporary 19th Century novel with its big panoramic cast and the small but interesting events unfolding in their small village of Hanmouth.


  9. says:

    The new novel by Philip Hensher, King of the Badgers, is an ambitious state of the nation novel It is a sometimes entertaining, sometimes horrifying dissection of a community It satirizes, illuminates and exposes current manners and mindsets in Great Britain Taking apart middle class snobbery and pretensions is not a new endeavor for Hensher In a terrific earlier novel, The NorthernClemency he did the same thing on a much smaller scale and in a historical context The distance that history provides gives a writer the luxury of faux hindsight Hensher doesn t get that gift in King of the Badgers His world in this new novel is contemporary and he works hard to keep it relevant Hensher uses a missing child from the wrong side of the tracks as the catalyst to peel away the picture postcard pretty of the seaside town of Hanmouth The missing child isn t from one of the many sanitized into respectability families Eight year old China O Connor and her patchwork family are residents of the public housing that the comfortable citizens of Hanmouth do not acknowledge as part of their town China s mother is a woman with many children, all from different fathers When your last name is Rockefeller or Vanderbilt in some social circles this method of breeding would be considered acceptable but when you live in Hanmouth and your last name is O Connor this type of parent makes you trash Do not for a minute think that this book is a mystery novel Despite the kidnapping of China and its effect on all of the characters in the novel this is no detective story Poor China gets the ball rolling but even a missing child cannot break through the self absorption of these people The mighty of Hanmouth see China s disappearance as a vindication of their desires for protection from from everything really One of the sad truths of the novel is the characters desires to be accepted and at the same time be free to express all the behaviors that they fear will label them as unacceptable.The bigger canvas of King of the Badgers allows Hensher to impress us with his skills in manipulating a large cast of characters It also provides a broader menu of pretensions to penetrate He is certainly up to the task Each of the many characters has a complete story and a role to play in this cross section of life lived in the proverbial nice place to live However the book is not a revelation a minute soap opera There is a slightly documentary tone to the novel that juxtaposes nicely with the humorous elements of the book as it reinforces the honesty of Hensler s portrait.P.S That cover What the heck Who was on crack the day that was selected Believe it or not it looks even worse in person It looks like a cover you would find on a local historical society cookbook Painful.


  10. says:

    I am a big fan of Philip Hensher s work, but initially I found King of the Badgers hard going.For the first hundred pages or so, he seems to have almost complete contempt for his characters This is a social satire of a small English town, so you d expect some tang of acid, but this was initially too unforgiving.Although mostly we are in middle class fictional Devon town of Handsmouth, there is a focus in the first section on a family from a poor satellite estate who s eight year old daughter has gone missing Hensher struggles though I think to properly characterise that family, and avoid cliche.Hensher is a fine writer, but in the opening sections there was also a tendency to overwrite a showiness that distracted rather than complemented the plot.I only began to engage with the book when we reached the build up to the orge that forms one of the centrepieces of the book It s wonderfully written, and at last some of the characters begin to leap off the page.Once some of the large cast began to feel real rather than caricatured, I was drawn in and really enjoyed the final half of the novel Hensher uses life in Handsmouth to explore Englishness the balance between a private and public life and loneliness in an intelligent and interesting way.It should also be said that the book is very funny throughout But I felt it needed the heart and empathy that does eventually appear to lift it beyond satire In the end after a shaky start, Hensher won me over.


  11. says:

    This novel is one of those guilty pleasures one is reluctant to admitting how much you enjoyed it, as Philip Hensher spares no sacred cows, pieties, scruples or morals in this often grotesque and lurid, but extremely funny, skewering of middle class society Even the reader has his or her pretensions examined ruthlessly at one point and found to be sorely wanting, of course, as is everyone else under Hensher s ferociously intelligent gaze.In the fictional English town of Hanmouth, on the Bristol Channel, a young girl by the name of China goes missing, presumably kidnapped That her family is from the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak, is cause for much grievance among the upstanding citizens of Hanmouth proper, as the sadly unwarranted event gives undue publicity to the less than savoury aspects of this semi rural idyll.However, Hensher is little interested in solving the mystery of China s disappearance, and simply uses this as a pretext to delve behind the curtains and closed doors of Hanmouth, to peer into its darkest nooks, crannies, desires, fears and hopes.The irony of this, of course, is that the book is ostensibly about the invasion of privacy and the encroachment on human rights, as the stick in the ass John Calvin of the local Neighbourhood Watch launches a one horse campaign to increase the number of surveillance cameras in Hanmouth If you are not doing anything wrong you will not be afraid to be caught out , is the overall motto of this Big Brother benevolence.Perhaps the highlight of the book is a bravua sequence contrasting a dinner party at one family, while a few houses down the local bears fat, hairy and happy gay men are getting down and dirty.What I loved is that the book ends on such a sweetly domesticated note between the two lead gay characters, Sam and Lord What A Waste Harry, that the reader is totally wrong footed by Hensher s loving adoration for this doting couple, symbol of the true love, friendship and fealty that a proper community should be built upon.


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King of the Badgers Here, Philip Hensher Brings Us The Peaceful Civility And Spiralling Paranoia Of The Small English Town Of Hanmouth Usually A Quiet And Undisturbed Place Situated On An Estuary, Hanmouth Becomes The Centre Of National Attention When An Eight Year Old Girl Vanishes

  • Hardcover
  • 436 pages
  • King of the Badgers
  • Philip Hensher
  • English
  • 04 January 2018
  • 9780007301331

About the Author: Philip Hensher

2005 he has taught creative writing at the University of Exeter He has edited new editions of numerous classic works of English Literature, such as those by Charles Dickens and Nancy Mitford, and Hensher served as a judge for the Booker Prize From 2013 he will hold the post of Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University 3 Since 2000, Philip Hensher has been listed as one of the 100 most influential LGBT people in Britain, 4 and in 2003 as one of Granta s twenty Best of Young British Novelists 1 In 2008, Hensher s semi autobiographical novel The Northern Clemency was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize In 2012, Hensher won first prize German Travel Writers Award, and is shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize He also won the Stonewall Prize for the Journalist of the Year in 2007 and The Somerset Maugham Award for his novel Kitchen Venom in 1996 He wrote the libretto for Thomas Ad s 1995 opera Powder Her Face This has been his only musical collaboration to date.His early writings have been characterized as having an ironic, knowing distance from their characters and icily precise skewerings of pretension and hypocrisy 1 His historical novel The Mulberry Empire echos with the rhythm and language of folk tales while play ing games with narrative forms 1 He is married to Zaved Mahmood, a human rights lawyer at the United Nations.You can find out about Philip on his author page at 4th Estate Books