Book 124: King of the Badgers by Philip Hensher
I still have not the slightest idea what Philip Hensher was trying to accomplish in the disappointing King of the Badgers.
The novel begins in one direction -- the faked kidnapping of a little girl -- switches directions rather abruptly -- gay lovers who run a cheese shop -- only to switch directions once more --an unhappy and overweight gay man who, to quote Mick Jagger, can't get no satisfaction.
Ostensibly, Hensher is trying to peel back the layers of Hanmouth, a small English town near the Bristol Channel. Lots of authors have used the disconnected-yet-connected narrative format to much greater effect.
King of Badgers never takes flight. The "connectedness" that Hensher seeks to develop never emerges and none of the individual stories prove interesting enough to elevate the novel.
This is a disappointing effort by a writer vastly more talented than the material presented here.