Nicola Barker’s “Darkmans” was nominated for the 2007 Man Booker Prize, but did not win. With more than 800 pages of absurd digressions, quirky characters, and cursive genre, it’s not a novel for everyone. Personally, though, I find “Darkmans” even more relevant today than its publication date. Years before fascism and social media discourse became popular topics of discussion, Barker predicted an age of spectacle that would link the obscurity of today to the Middle Ages. The cast of “Darkmans”, who struggle to find happiness in the town of Ashford, are constantly thwarted by the ghost of a 14th century clown. It’s like a very British “Twin Peaks”, if BOB was a real person instead of a monster with a familiar face.
“Darkmans” is not marketed as a fantasy film, and people may find it confusing to include it in a list that includes a relatively simple fiction genre like “The Farseer Trilogy”. But fantasy is also a useful component because it is a genre in itself. The novel is satisfying enough as a black comedy about broken people, but it is the constant unsettling presence of the ghost that makes it truly amazing. I don’t trust a team in the US to handle this material, but a talented team in the UK could do something intriguing with it.
https://www.slashfilm.com/995644/12-fantasy-novels-that-deserve-to-be-adapted-to-tv-that-arent-game-of-thrones/ 12 fantasy novels that deserve a TV adaptation that aren’t game of thrones