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King of the Badgers Hardcover – 31 Mar 2011

3.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 31 Mar 2011
£23.94 £0.01
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; 1st Edition edition (31 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007301332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007301331
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.7 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 412,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description



KING OF THE BADGERS is Hensher’s third exercise in social portraiture on a grand scale, after THE MULBERRY EMPIRE which made the longlist for the Man Booker Prize in 2002, and THE NORTHERN CLEMENCY, which made the 2008 shortlist. It would be gratifying to see the new novel go one better, not least because the prize has never been given to a large energetic and capacious novel about English life. The New Statesman

KING OF THE BADGERS is a rich and ambitious novel, which manages both to offer a convincing picture of different levels of English society today and to explore the shifting certainties of individual lives. The Scotsman

Cleverly shifting gear from time to time to keep us on our toes, Hensher hovers on the edge of black comedy and satire, but the dark shadows cast by the little girl’s disappearance restrain him from going too far in those directions. But Hensher has used an exceedingly sharp scalpel for this dissection of Middle England, and it would be a great disappointment if KING OF THE BADGERS didn’t follow his previous novel, THE NORTHERN CLEMENCY, onto the Man Booker shortlist. The Herald

It shows Hensher at the height of his considerable powers: superbly written, morally alert, and densely envisaged, with a rich cast and plenty going on.  KING OF THE BADGERS is a really good old-fashioned novel: the sort of thing George Eliot might have written if she was interested in gay orgies and abducted chavs. The Sunday Times

Philip Hensher’s wonderfully complex, paradoxical subject in KING OF THE BADGERS is the nature of privacy, and of its violation…His ear for dialogue, sharp sense of the absurd and appreciation of human self-delusion recall Kingsley Amis; his fiction, like that of Amis, is powered by a strong if unconventional sense of morality. And like Amis, he is one of fiction’s rarest creatures: a writer who can move readers to stifled snorts of recognition and them to outright laughter. The Guardian (Helen Dunmore)

Brilliantly done…as ever, one is struck, and seduced, by a coruscating intelligence…  Hensher is one of the few English novelists at work who a) is seriously interested in the varieties of modern Englishness, and b) has the intellectual resources to address them. The Independent on Sunday

The latest literary masterpiece from Booker nominee Philip Hensher. Grazia Magazine

An extraordinary, great pudding of a novel which confirms Philip Hensher as one of the most entertaining writers of Britain today.’ The Daily Mail                                                                     

Wonderful. The Bookseller

This is a powerful dystopian fable, with a leavening of black comedy. The Mail on Sunday

Brilliant, sustained and weirdly captivating ... Ultimately, of course, it’s the writing that carries KING OF THE BADGERS.   Hensher, as in all his writing, is sharp, wry, audacious, exact. Some scenes are heartbreakingly brief and marked by poignant restraint. Others are described in extraordinary detail, and peppered with piercing, oftentimes hilarious commentary. The Spectator

The book is wonderfully readable. Hensher's dialogue is marvellous, and so is his ability to mock his characters, but to do so with affection, even with compassion. The Independent

A powerfully delightful book, rich in pathos and drama, rowdy with life. The Times Literary Supplement

Behind closed doors seemingly ordinary lives are dissected, the mundane is mingled with shocking truths and sordid revelations, amid themes of privacy and surveillance. A literary accomplishment. Attitude Magazine

About the Author

Philip Hensher is a columnist for the Independent, arts critic for the Spectator and a Granta Best of Young British novelist. He has written six novels, including The Mulberry Empire and the Booker-shortlisted The Northern Clemency, and one collection of short stories. He lives in South London.

46 customer reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

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