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Bernardine Evaristo

Mr. Loverman (Paperback)

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Winner of the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction

"Evaristo's confident control of the language, her vibrant use of humor, rhythm and poetry, and the realistic mix of Caribbean patois with both street and the Queen's English...fix characters in the reader's mind."
-- New York Times Sunday Book Review

A Top Ten Favorite of the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table's 2015 Over the Rainbow List

"As a writer at the Guardian once proclaimed, if you don't know Evaristo's work, you should...the novel proves to be revolutionary in its honest portrayal of gay men...and Evaristo's writing is both intelligible and compelling."
-- Library Journal (starred review)

"The writing is poetic, the characters are realistic and all sides are well portrayed."
-- Huffington Post

"Evaristo crafts a colorful look at a unique character confronting social normativity with a well-tuned voice and a resonant humanity."
-- Publishers Weekly

"In this vibrant novel, Evaristo draws wonderful character portraits of complex individuals as well as the West Indian immigrant culture in Britain."
-- Booklist

"Although Evaristo has always been an innovative stylist, her latest novel, the critically acclaimed, award-winning smash, Mr. Loverman, is her chef d'oeuvre; a masterful dissection of the life of a 74-year-old, British-Caribbean gay man."
-- Huffington Post, feature on Bernardine Evaristo

Included in the Bay Area Reporter's "Pride Reading List: Prose & Poetry"

Included in Baltimore Out Loud's Pride Reading List

"If the novelist's job is to make sense of the world, Bernardine Evaristo's entire oeuvre attests to her desire to upend preconceived notions of what is and isn't impossible and reflect that mirror right back at her readers. Mr. Loverman is a powerful, morally rigorous and joyful novel and Bernardine Evaristo is a writer at the height of her imaginative powers."
-- Huff Post Books

"Barrington Jedediah Walker lives in London, but he also lives a lie...As his marriage self-destructs, Barrington sees an opportunity to be with the man he loves, but after such protracted misery in this comic, touching book, happiness seems distant and frightening."
-- Village Voice

" Mr. Loverman is a brilliant portrayal of a life that is only lived fully during the twilight years and the struggle within to get there...This is a book for everyone, not to be shelved into a grouping for just one sector of society."
-- NEWZ4U.NET

"Barrington is the kind of character that is naturally likeable; from his love of Shakespeare down to the tips of his boots, he oozes charm and charisma."
-- Lit Reactor

"It takes you and shakes you silly, leaving you stunned...Of the many books I've read so far this year, Mr. Loverman is one of the best."
-- 1330v

"Bernardine Evaristo uncovers characters lost to history and myth and with compassion, an original and brilliant voice, and an unparalleled craft--all tinged with humor--she restores them and thus us."
-- Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas

"Evaristo is extremely attentive to the function of language, the power of words to shape reality."
-- Ron Charles, Washington Post Book World

Barrington Jedidiah Walker is seventy-four and leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, he's lived in Hackney, London, for years. A flamboyant, wise-cracking character with a dapper taste in retro suits and a fondness for Shakespeare, Barrington is a husband, father, grandfather--and also secretly gay, lovers with his childhood friend, Morris.

His deeply religious and disappointed wife, Carmel, thinks he sleeps with other women. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barri

Specifications

Publisher
Akashic Books
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
284
Author
Bernardine Evaristo
Title
Mr. Loverman
ISBN-13
9781617752728
Publication Date
April, 2014
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.00 x 6.00 x 1.50 Inches
ISBN-10
161775272X

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(4.4)out of 5 stars
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Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
Strong characters, esp...
Strong characters, especially the main narrator, are made more vibrant by the way the author uses dialect. To illustrate, the protagonist is perfectly able to use sesquipedalian Queen's English when it suits his purposes. He uses Antiguan forms when speaking with compatriots and family, but it is not represented as an illegible pidgin. The bulk of the narration is somewhere in between, an informal voice well-suited to storytelling. He is bright, allowing for clever turns of phrase, metaphor, and associations. It's an entertaining read that, in the best tradition of novels, offers a glimpse into a different perspective.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
Brokeback Mountain via...
Brokeback Mountain via Windrush. That's pretty much it. The main character gets off far too lightly - and I'm mildly worried by the thought I was supposed to actually like him.
Most helpful positive review
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars
Strong characters, esp...
Strong characters, especially the main narrator, are made more vibrant by the way the author uses dialect. To illustrate, the protagonist is perfectly able to use sesquipedalian Queen's English when it suits his purposes. He uses Antiguan forms when speaking with compatriots and family, but it is not represented as an illegible pidgin. The bulk of the narration is somewhere in between, an informal voice well-suited to storytelling. He is bright, allowing for clever turns of phrase, metaphor, and associations. It's an entertaining read that, in the best tradition of novels, offers a glimpse into a different perspective.
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
Brokeback Mountain via...
Brokeback Mountain via Windrush. That's pretty much it. The main character gets off far too lightly - and I'm mildly worried by the thought I was supposed to actually like him.
Strong characters, especially the main narrator, are made more vibrant by the way the author uses dialect. To illustrate, the protagonist is perfectly able to use sesquipedalian Queen's English when it suits his purposes. He uses Antiguan forms when speaking with compatriots and family, but it is not represented as an illegible pidgin. The bulk of the narration is somewhere in between, an informal voice well-suited to storytelling. He is bright, allowing for clever turns of phrase, metaphor, and associations. It's an entertaining read that, in the best tradition of novels, offers a glimpse into a different perspective.
Brokeback Mountain via Windrush. That's pretty much it. The main character gets off far too lightly - and I'm mildly worried by the thought I was supposed to actually like him.

Frequent mentions

1-5 of 8 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Strong characters, esp...

Strong characters, especially the main narrator, are made more vibrant by the way the author uses dialect. To illustrate, the protagonist is perfectly able to use sesquipedalian Queen's English when it suits his purposes. He uses Antiguan forms when speaking with compatriots and family, but it is not represented as an illegible pidgin. The bulk of the narration is somewhere in between, an informal voice well-suited to storytelling. He is bright, allowing for clever turns of phrase, metaphor, and associations. It's an entertaining read that, in the best tradition of novels, offers a glimpse into a different perspective.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Title: Mr. Loverman Au...

Title: Mr. Loverman Author: Bernadine Evaristo Publisher: Akashic Books Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: 5 Review: "Mr. Loverman" by Bernadine Evaristo was a delightful fiction love read. I found that the author's narrators were splendid giving you such a touching and well written story that I found hard to put down until the very end. The cast of characters were very humorous (some) as well memorable, defined and portrayed. The area of this place in Hackney, London seemed like a place that was describe so very well making you think you were there while you are reading the novel. Be ready for a read where you will find Mr. Loverman involved in his secrecy of what it really meant for him to be free where we find he lives a double life. Who would have thought at a man in his seventies, who had been married over fifty years would have this huge secret that would come out the way it did? And just what was that secret? As I was reading thorough this novel I was kept wondering wow, how well this author Ms. Evaristo was putting this out to the reader and doing a good job at it. I couldn't stop reading just turning the pages to see what was coming next for Mr. Loverman. Yes, it was somewhat heartbreaking read with a 'full bodied riff on sex, secrecy and family' and yet we will find from the read when "Mr. Loverman explodes cultural myths and shows what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves." I felt that "Mr. Loverman" was a good read and all I can do now is recommend for you to pick up "Mr. Loverman" and read it for yourself to see what all that has and is going on with this main character.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Meet Barrington Walke...

Meet Barrington Walker, a seventy-five year old successful property owner and landlord, married for over fifty years, father, grandfather, and closet gay. An immigrant to London from Antigua, he is a colorful figure in 50s style suits and his charming command of the Queen's English. His relationship with his lover Morris (also an immigrant from Antigua) predates his marriage. A deplorable fellow, you say? Well, yes, he is, but Bernadine Evaristo presents Barry and his family and Morris is such a way that you root for them and hope that they somehow manage to work things out in the end. There is empathy and humor in this delightful tale. You like this guy in spite of yourself.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Congratulations, Berna...

Congratulations, Bernardine Evaristo. Hats off to an artist of the written word who can cross gender, nationality, and age lines to portray a most convincing character. In MR. LOVERMAN, Evaristo entertains her readers with a close-up look at Barrington Walker, a closeted gay immigrant from Antigua, West Indies, living in England with his wife of many years. Also in Mr. Walker's life is his friend and lover, Morris; they have been bonded since boyhood, both emigrating from Antigua, marrying women, and raising families all while maintaining a close friendship and discreet love affair. MR. LOVERMAN is the story of a short period in Mr. Walker's life as a senior citizen (both he and Morris are in their 70s) during which he struggles with the idea of divorcing his wife, coming out, and possibly living his remaining years with his male love. But even in contemporary England doing any of those activities would be difficult for a West Indian gentleman of his generation. And this is what Evaristo does so well: here she is, an English female writer on the younger side writing with incredible feeling, real knowledge, empathy, and understanding of what it means to be West Indian, male, a senior citizen, and closeted gay. How does she accomplish this? It can only be noted that REAL writers - and Evaristo is one - have the ability to move themselves into the bodies, souls, and minds of others who are unlike them and somehow inhabit their spheres. MR. LOVERMAN is a poignant example of how a writer can do this while moving mountains - and moving us, her readers. One can imagine MR. LOVERMAN as a stage play. There is a great deal of conversation in this book, something that would not ordinarily call for a four or five-star rating. But somehow Evaristo's chatty approach to her characters feels right. She has obviously observed enough West Indian immigrant culture to have a keen ear for dialect and a sharp eye for amusing - but not overdone - stereotypes of West Indian immigrant behavior. At times her characters seem to have stepped right out of a 1990s' TV episode of "In Living Color." She writes humor well, but she does human emotion and thought even better. MR. LOVERMAN should receive special attention and notice for its author. Bernardine Evaristo has brought Mr. Barrington Walker into all of our lives, truly one of the more memorable characters in modern fiction.

Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

I loved this story, th...

I loved this story, the people, the language, the flow. I can't find one fault. The moment I started reading, I knew I was in for a new experience. The moment I finished, I knew I would miss all the wonderful new characters I'd come to know. I never faltered between the two distinct voices and points of view of the "verbious" Barry and the long suffering Carmel. Ms. Evaristo found a stylistic solution to what is often (in lesser books) a confusing jumping from first-person attitudes with a poetic flow for Carmel and a nearly jet-fueled jazz blast from Barry. Morris needs no one to speak for him as he is all but a very welcome omnipresence in this tale of a lovely "old married couple." From beginning to end, I found myself laughing out loud at the most unexpected times and at others, my heart broke into frustrated pieces over this family's life with fear, anger, bitter divides and ever lasting love. Some of the paragraphs dropped me in my tracks and I found myself reading them over and over again to get the full measure and flavor of a distinctly Antiguan accent and world view. This novel is a gem of sparkling witticisms that I will not soon forget.


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