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The Cauliflower®: Nicola Barker’s divine comedy

The bizarre story of the guru Sri Ramakrishna and his feuding entourage is full of sly charm and astonishing vitality

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

The Cauliflower® Nicola Barker

William Heinemann, pp.336, £16.99, ISBN: 9781785150661

Nicola Barker is both prodigiously talented and admirably fearless. I have loved her books. But for some time I had little or no idea what the point of the story of Sri Ramakrishna was. In fact he was one of the outstanding men of 19th-century India. Characteristically of Barker, the narrative of her latest book is interlaced with little jokes and haikus and sly references to contemporary language and manners.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £13.99. Tel: 08430 600033. Justin Cartwright’s novels include Leading the Cheers, In Every Face I Meet and most recently Up Against the Night.

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