The Cauliflower® by Nicola Barker

Not this time. Not in this telling. Not here. Not with sugar. Not so far as we are aware. No. The story of Sri Ramakrishna started with salt. Salt . . .


What I expected:
It was the description that enticed me! I expected something that was a bit different, with an Indian twist, to add a different edge, seeing as it was about an Indian guru.

What it was:
I will say here and now that, sadly, it did not meet my expectations. It was a mishmash of a supposed historical story, mixed in with fantastical scenes inserted into the rhetoric. I found it a very hard book to get into and, I ended up starting it three times in the end! Then, when I finally got started, it seemed to take an age to ‘just read’. I took the book up because of the book’s intriguing description, but found that it really was not for me. It turned out to be a book of ‘really random rot’! (My apologies to the author!) In parts, I found it repetitive in its narrative, and it jumped about, A LOT! There were parts that I think were meant to be light hearted, but which (by then) I just found irritating, for example the episode with the Indian swift ( Cypselus-affinis), which I found ridiculous in the main; I would say more, but I am very ‘anti-spoiler’. By the end, any affinity with characters had gone (if I had any to start with).  I simply finished the book because I had been given a copy to review and my perceived obligation outweighed the need to just put the book down.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

2/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

Get your copy:
The Cauliflower®

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers

Official description:
To the world he is Sri Ramakrishna – godly avatar, esteemed spiritual master, beloved guru. To Rani Rashmoni, he is the Brahmin fated to defy tradition. But to Hriday, his nephew and long-time caretaker, he is just Uncle – maddening, bewildering Uncle, prone to entering trances at the most inconvenient of times, known to form dangerous acts of self-effacement, who must be vigilantly safeguarded not only against jealous enemies but also against that most treasured yet insidious of sulphur-rich vegetables: the cauliflower.
Rather than puzzling the shards of history and legend together, Barker shatters the mirror again and rearranges the pieces. The result is a biographical novel viewed through a kaleidoscope. Dazzlingly inventive and brilliantly comic, irreverent and mischievous, The Cauliflower® delivers us into the divine playfulness of ‘one of the most exhilarating, audacious, and . . . ballsy writers of her generation’ (Observer).

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