OK, so before I start talking about Barking, which has as its central character (and quite a few of its secondary characters as well) a lawyer (specialising in winding up the estates of deceased persons) I feel I need to point out (given how disparagingly they are referred to throughout the novel) that some of my best friends are lawyers.
Well, two of my best friends, including Silvery Dude who actually got this for me as a birthday present to show that he has a sense of humour (which he has) as well as a reasonable taste in fantasy novels (which he also has). The other lawyer friend has no nickname for the purposes of this blog, but does also have sense of humour as well as a taste for light opera, but that can’t be helped.
In order to put this into a wider context, the rest of my best friends are either accountants or civil servants or (in more than one case) both. Now you can see why I don’t blog here every day, my life is just one giant whirlwind of excitement and really wild things.
Or something like that.
But nothing as wild as what happens to Duncan Hughes in Barking.
So here we have a man who is in a dead-end job doing OK, not yet a partner, divorced and kind of just muddling along, when an old friend from school comes back into his life, teases him away from his current firm (with the help of Duncan’s boss who decides to fire him) and makes him a partner in a rather unusual way. He bites him and turns him into a werewolf.
This is not the weirdest thing that happens in the novel. There are vampires (also a firm of lawyers). There are reanimated people (not exactly zombies). There is a unicorn. And there is the estate of Bowden Allshapes, whose file follows Duncan to his new firm and which has been a constant in his working life for some time. If only he could get the accounts to balance….
This is huge fun, very amusing, well-written with a great story at the heart of it. I’m always a bit wary of comic fantasy; for every great author (Pratchett, Adams) there are lots of misses so I tend to take a cautious approach but I’m glad the Dude of Silver introduced me to this and I enjoyed the whole reading experience very much.
And it’s not giving too much away to say that it has a happy ending.
And the best thing of all is I’ve found a new author to binge on.