With the announcement of this year’s Man Booker Prize only two days away, I’m down to my last two books: Patrick McGuinness’s tale of the last days of Ceausescu’s Romania, The Last Hundred Days, and D. J. Taylor‘s period drama Derby Day. (See how the title of the post works on multiple levels!) There’s a good chance I’ll have one of them finished before Tuesday evening and an outside chance that I’ll finish both of them.
But the important thing for now is that I completed the shortlist. Read more…
Boy, was I wrong! But not as wrong as the Man Booker Prize judges. Here’s the shortlist they’ve just announced:
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
Snowdrops by A.D. Miller
The Man Booker Prize shortlist will be announced later today. Here’s my guess as to which of the books will make it, based on what I’ve read so far.
I think the above three are virtually certain to make the shortlist. I’m considerably less confident about the rest, especially as I haven’t read them all.
But I’m going to go for:
- Booker prize shortlist 2011: who do you think will be on it? (guardian.co.uk)
- Booker shortlist to be announced (bbc.co.uk)
I’m currently making good progress in my challenge to read the entire Man Booker Prize longlist. So far I have finished six of the thirteen books.
The Sisters Brothers by Canadian author Patrick deWitt, is a western, darkly humorous in tone. The eponymous brothers are Charlie, who loves the violent life the brothers share as hired killers, and the narrator, Eli, who longs for a more peaceful existence. The novel follows what Eli hopes will be their last job. Often amusing, sometimes thrilling, occasionally moving, this is a solid novel and well worth a read.
Pigeon English is the tale of Harrison Opoku, an eleven-year-old Ghanaian boy, recently arrived in the UK, and his response to the violent murder of a boy from his school. Narrated by Harrison, its attempts to get inside the mind of a child didn’t quite work for me, the supporting characters sometimes seem stereotyped, while the parts narrated by a pigeon just came across as gimmicky. That said, it had its moments, and was ultimately quite touching, if a little depressing. A decent first-time novel, just not my thing. Read more…
Yesterday I was reading about the longlist for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. A number of the selected books looked interesting, and I reflected that I hadn’t read much literary fiction recently, and that I almost never read contemporary works in this genre. I decided to read at least some of what are presumably this year’s best novels. Then, in a moment of inspiration – or insanity – I wondered whether it would be feasible to read them all before the winner was announced. Read more…