Book review: The Cauliflower

ONLY one thing is for certain when reading Nicola Barker’s latest and totally brilliant, yet unclassifiable novel — you have absolutely no idea which direction the story is heading in. 

Nicola Barker

William Heinemann, £16.99; ebook, £9.99

Barker’s writing is exuberant, chaotic, and magical, but sometimes a little hard to follow.

The Cauliflower is not for those who give up on books easily, but hold tight, you’re in for a pretty epic ride. 

The novel concerns itself with Sri Ramakrishna, a 19th century Indian mystic, who certainly doesn’t like to be referred to as a ‘guru’. 

The narrative jumps around, though is often told from the point of view of Ramakrishna’s nephew.

The story unfolds in fragments as the reader gleans half-told tales of magical India.

Barker’s writing is completely original and insightful and bursting full of spirituality. 

The novel is thoroughly enjoyable; however the narrative becomes slightly messy at times as Barker runs away with herself.


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