John Brown's Body



[PDF / Epub] ☉ John Brown's Body Author A.L. Barker – E17streets4all.co.uk Marise Tomelty is a child wife who dislikes sex and is terrified of open spaces Ralph Shilling, a dealer in pesticides, lives in the flat above the Tomeltys One day, Marise s traveling salesman husban Marise Tomelty is a child wife who dislikes sex and is terrified of open spaces Ralph Shilling, a dealer in pesticides, lives in the flat above the Tomeltys One day, Marise s traveling salesman husband casually mentions that he recognizes Ralph as John Brown, the suspect who, for lack of evidence, was acquitted in John Brown's PDF or an actrocious double murder Nevertheless, Marise encourages Ralph s attentions, intoxicated by a heady mix of passion and fear In this shrewdly observed novel, AL Barker explores the tug between body and soul, life and death, truth and fantasy.John Brown's Body

Audrey Lilian Barker was a short story writer and novelist Born in St Paul s Cray, Kent, she lived in the same milieu where London borders on Kent and Surrey, for the rest of her life As her Oxford DNB entry says it was the chief setting for her work, which often seemed to John Brown's PDF or partake of the quotidian mysteriousness and even abandonment of these areas Her first selection of short stories, Innocents, won the Somerset Maugham award in Of her short stories, Robert Nye has written, stories as carefully composed as poems, quiet and delicate and reserved perhaps, but oddly lingering in the mind Although a stranger to commercial success, she never wanted for admirers, Jane Gardam, Francis King, Auberon Waugh, Evelyn Waugh, Rebecca West, John Sutherland, Deborah Moggach, Ronald Blythe, Susan Hill, A S Byatt, Adam Mars Jones, Nina Bawden and Victoria Glendinning being just some of themA L Barker deserves to be better known Faber Finds is proud to be reissuing her entire oeuvre, six volumes of short stories Innocents, Novelette with Other Stories, Femina Real, Life Stories, No Words of Love and Element of Doubt and thirteen novels Apology for a Hero, A Case Examined, The Joy Ride and After, Lost Upon the Roundabouts, The Middling, John Brown s Body, Source of Embarrassment, A Heavy Feather, Relative Successes, The Gooseboy, The Woman Who Talked to Herself, Zeph and The Haunt.

John Brown's Body PDF/EPUB ↠ John Brown's  PDF or
    If you re looking for a CBR and CBZ reader for lack of evidence, was acquitted in John Brown's PDF or an actrocious double murder Nevertheless, Marise encourages Ralph s attentions, intoxicated by a heady mix of passion and fear In this shrewdly observed novel, AL Barker explores the tug between body and soul, life and death, truth and fantasy."/>
  • Paperback
  • 216 pages
  • John Brown's Body
  • A.L. Barker
  • English
  • 03 July 2019
  • 1860497209

10 thoughts on “John Brown's Body

  1. says:

    This will probably be my last review for The Mookse and The Gripes group s 1970 Booker shortlist project, because I don t expect to find an affordable copy of The Conjunction I am finding it difficult to separate the five I have read all of them were interesting, some very quirky but none of them really stood out.A.L Barker had quite a long career and some fairly distinguished admirers, so I am surprised I was not aware of her before, and this book is certainly memorable, if very odd and uns This will probably be my last review for The Mookse and The Gripes group s 1970 Booker shortlist project, because I don t expect to find an affordable copy of The Conjunction I am finding it difficult to separate the five I have read all of them were interesting, some very quirky but none of them really stood out.A.L Barker had quite a long career and some fairly distinguished admirers, so I am surprised I was not aware of her before, and this book is certainly memorable, if very odd and unsettling I concur with much of what Dan said in his review here, which is better than anything I can write It is a character study in which none of the characters are very sympathetic the main ones being Marise, a bored and pretty young housewife and a fantasist, her husband Jack, and their neighbour Ralph Jack s job involves travelling, and he seems to see Marise as a trophy and has little interest in her He persuades her that Ralph is the spitting image of John Brown, who was acquitted of the brutal murder of two sisters who lived together Ralph s wife also lives in her sister s remote farmhouse near the Essex coast, which he visits at weekends.Once it becomes clear to Ralph that Marise is interested in him because of this story, he plays along, allowing her to believe what she wants to in the hope that she will elope with him and allow him to leave his dreary job and the martinet he works for The second half of the book gets quite dark, as Marise and Ralph push one another to greater extremes, but there are also plenty of funnier moments and as in all of the books on this shortlist, the writing is impressive I think this is a book that deserves a wider audience, but I can see why it didn t win the prize

  2. says:

    Ralph Shilling is a stolid accounts manager for a pesticides firm Middle aged and married, he spends his weeks living a bachelor existence in town, only visiting his wife Bertha at her sister s country estate on the weekends Into Shilling s habit encrusted life arrives Marise Tomelty, childlike wife of the oafish salesman Jack Tomelty, when the young couple moves into his apartment building What then begins as a case of half jokingly misperceived identity slowly develops into something vaguel Ralph Shilling is a stolid accounts manager for a pesticides firm Middle aged and married, he spends his weeks living a bachelor existence in town, only visiting his wife Bertha at her sister s country estate on the weekends Into Shilling s habit encrusted life arrives Marise Tomelty, childlike wife of the oafish salesman Jack Tomelty, when the young couple moves into his apartment building What then begins as a case of half jokingly misperceived identity slowly develops into something vaguely menacing, as Shilling struggles to embrace the mindset of the murderer he s been told he resembles, shaking off the trappings of his drab life in an effort to fulfill Marise s capricious imaginings From the very beginning it is a mystery as to what will result from the mingling of these two characters disparate expectations.This is a difficult novel to classify It s an extreme slow burn that in the first half gets bogged down in its exposition of Shilling s domestic tedium His wife and her sister are an excruciating pair the former cloyingly devoted and the latter prickly in her eccentricities I nearly gave up on the book as it delved into the details of this oppressive triangle but as it approached the halfway point the story picked up a bitMarise is probably the most interesting character She is easily distracted by sights such as a flock of birds wheeling across the sky That was what she looked for, that cutting and driving and smoothing away was the finish of something she herself had begun, something that forever needed finishing. She could be describing her relationship with Shilling in such words, for she was responsible for initiating it but with no forethought as to where it would go or how it would end Marise is as bored as Ralph Shilling, just in a different way Married to a man as predictable as Shilling himself, just in a different way, she feels constricted, trapped in a life she was pushed into by her mother A rare beauty, mercurial in nature, she attracts constant male attention, the bulk of it unwanted It kindles in her a desire to escape In her thought she often ran away, simply opened the door and went Why shouldn t she do the same in reality The running was important, she ran through places she knew and did not know, past people she knew and did not know, ran beautifully for their sakes She took them out of themselves, they would always remember seeing her run. For his part, Ralph is out of his mind with desire for Marise The appearance of this woman completely disrupts his stalled life, effecting an emotional transformation and perhaps even triggering some long dormant impulsiveness And as Marise shows signs of increasing unbalance, it only endears herto him Ralph felt shaken, extremes always did shake him So far as he was concerned both ends of the scale were unhappy, he trusted only in the medium But this extreme of hers committed him evendeeply to her, and committed her to him. While I can t say I loved this book, Barker has a way of setting hooks into a reader s skin Some form of tragedy seemed inevitable, and I suppose it was the curiosity about the nature of that tragedy that kept me reading Along the way there were bits of droll humor and shrewd insights into the human condition that made the experience worthwhile All told a solid 3 star book, maybe even a 3.5 The cover of this edition is ridiculous, but it does make sense in the context of the story

  3. says:

    Marise Tomelty is the young wife of a travelling salesman, who dislikes sex and is terrified of open spaces Ralph Shilling, a dealer in pesticides, lives in the flat above them One day Marise s husband casually mentions that he recognises Ralph as John Brown a man acquitted, for lack of evidence, of the gruesome double murder of two sisters What follows is a dissection of each of these dislikeable characters, written with a tongue in the cheek humour so that the reader never quite knows wh Marise Tomelty is the young wife of a travelling salesman, who dislikes sex and is terrified of open spaces Ralph Shilling, a dealer in pesticides, lives in the flat above them One day Marise s husband casually mentions that he recognises Ralph as John Brown a man acquitted, for lack of evidence, of the gruesome double murder of two sisters What follows is a dissection of each of these dislikeable characters, written with a tongue in the cheek humour so that the reader never quite knows what to take seriously The plot moves slowly, driven by the obvious question, is Ralph actually John Brown, but a twist at the end makes it worth arriving at Barker s work isn t well known, though this was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1970, one of her 11 novels She was very much admired by fellow writers a particular favourite of Jane Gardam but never gained the recognition that, in the strength of this odd and brief book at least, she deserved

  4. says:

    A L Barker s John Brown s Body is one of those rare novels with no likable characters and perhaps only one even vaguely sympathetic character It s an odd, brief novel featuring Marise, a young, pretty and perhaps intellectually disabled wife Barbra Bear, her stuffed teddy bear Jack Tomelty, Marise s downwardly mobile, abusive, and often absent husband Fred Macey, Marise s mother s lecherous friend who masquerades as Marise s uncle Ralph Shilling, Marise s upstairs neighbor and Ralph s se A L Barker s John Brown s Body is one of those rare novels with no likable characters and perhaps only one even vaguely sympathetic character It s an odd, brief novel featuring Marise, a young, pretty and perhaps intellectually disabled wife Barbra Bear, her stuffed teddy bear Jack Tomelty, Marise s downwardly mobile, abusive, and often absent husband Fred Macey, Marise s mother s lecherous friend who masquerades as Marise s uncle Ralph Shilling, Marise s upstairs neighbor and Ralph s second wife and her sister The relationships in John Brown s Body are fantasy or transaction based Ralph fantasizes himself in love with the infantile Marise, plotting to run away with her Ralph s sister in law fantasizes herself sickened by radiation from a spring supposedly running under their home Tomelty convinces Fred Macey and the credulous Marise that Ralph Shilling is in fact John Brown, a notorious murderer of two sisters with whom he was having simultaneous affairs Bertha, Shilling s wife, fantasizes Shilling as successful at business and devoted to her And just a few examples of the transaction based relationships in John Brown s Body Here s Marise s mother, speaking to Marise about her prospective husband You take Jack Tomelty, her mother had said, he s not much but he ll do for a start What of Don t try to tell me you don t need a start, girl And here s Marise, thinking about her now husband, Jack Had she been able to put her hand into Tomelty s side and pull out the rubber stuffing, she would sometimes have pulled it all out from his feet to his head and left him as an empty skin Shilling borrows money from his wife, convincing her that he s making a smart investment when in fact he s reimbursing his firm for money embezzled by a subordinate Barker provides some tension to John Brown s Body, perhaps leavingthan a few readers wondering whether Ralph is indeed John Brown And the ending provides an appropriate surprise, leaving us to wonder what becomes of Marise and Ralph Shilling Novels without likable characters often appeals to me, and I admire novelists willing to chance popular and commercial failure by portraying a cast of unlikable characters Given just how odd John Brown s Body s plot and characters are, I may find itmemorable than might be warranted based upon my initial assessment of it But doubt that I ll reread it any time soon According to obituaries in The Guardian and The Telegraph, A L Barker s work and especially her short stories were admired by Rebecca West, Auberon Waugh, and Jane Gardam Who am I to disagree with Jane Gardam, a favorite author of mine While John Brown s Body has left me with no particular desire to readof Barker s novels, I found it sufficiently unusual to entice me to sample Barker s short stories

  5. says:

    I don t think this would have made it onto a recent Man Booker list It is nicely written and amusing in places, but the story is weak and the author doesn t seem to have much to say.

  6. says:

    An imaginative plot lives ruled by fantasies, of harmful rays, of a supposedly kind and successful husband, and primarily of a child wife, the sex averse Marise supposing a newcomer is actually a double murderer He in turn is aroused from a humdrum life by her exited imagination, and wrongly imagines new life with her.The ending achieves a sort of equilibrium after the distorted reality, but the earlier part of the narrative is held back by a spattering of inapt metaphors and absurd dialogue An imaginative plot lives ruled by fantasies, of harmful rays, of a supposedly kind and successful husband, and primarily of a child wife, the sex averse Marise supposing a newcomer is actually a double murderer He in turn is aroused from a humdrum life by her exited imagination, and wrongly imagines new life with her.The ending achieves a sort of equilibrium after the distorted reality, but the earlier part of the narrative is held back by a spattering of inapt metaphors and absurd dialogue Would anyone really say, he has such soft pink joy

  7. says:

    My copy of this novel is a re issue by Virago Modern Classics stating it was shortlisted for the 1969 Booker Prize when in fact it was the 1970 Prize and stating it was first published in 1965 maybe they allowed 4 year old novels to appear on their shortlists back then, however my understanding of the prize is that for the first two years it was for novels published in the previous year.Search for John Brown s Body in Google and you ll find a stack of references to The Battle Hymn of th My copy of this novel is a re issue by Virago Modern Classics stating it was shortlisted for the 1969 Booker Prize when in fact it was the 1970 Prize and stating it was first published in 1965 maybe they allowed 4 year old novels to appear on their shortlists back then, however my understanding of the prize is that for the first two years it was for novels published in the previous year.Search for John Brown s Body in Google and you ll find a stack of references to The Battle Hymn of the Republic , well I m sorry to say this novel has nothing to do with glory, glory, hallelujah , although in kind John Brown s body could well lie a mouldering in the grave whilst his soul goes marching on..A strange novel and one I really struggled with For a full review visit my blog at www.messybooker.blogspot.com

  8. says:

    The beginning was so promising But turned into a big disappointment.I expected Marise to be an interesting character, but she seems to be a girl with Attention Deficit Disorder, with immature brain It is natural for Ralph to desire her, but a reasonable man like him wanting to run away with a girl who is unreasonable enough to put up tantrums on road is not understandable Throughout the book, the mental levels of these two main characters are not consistent.It s a nice idea that the girl want The beginning was so promising But turned into a big disappointment.I expected Marise to be an interesting character, but she seems to be a girl with Attention Deficit Disorder, with immature brain It is natural for Ralph to desire her, but a reasonable man like him wanting to run away with a girl who is unreasonable enough to put up tantrums on road is not understandable Throughout the book, the mental levels of these two main characters are not consistent.It s a nice idea that the girl wanting Ralph to be John Brown to add some excitement to her life, and Ralph s confusion in wanting to be him to get her attention, and at the same time not wanting to be him due to very practical reasons But it was not formed into a novel nicely enough

  9. says:

    A little difficult that s partly because it s a bit dated, I guess partly because I don t understand the world being described And it s layered this is a Good Thing, of course, but makes it achallenging read.

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