The winner of the Man Booker Prize is going to be announced today (update: The sense of an ending by Julian Barnes is the winner). Usually I try to read one of the books so that I sound vaguely knowledgable and literary, but this year I have only just graduated to reading books again after a diet of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, so I just couldn’t face dredging my way through some sort of elongated word fest that leaves me feeling depressed and rather sour.
However, this year the Man Booker’s judges chaired by Dame Stella Rimington, thriller writer and former head of MI5 declared that “We want people to buy these books and read them, not buy them and admire them.” This is almost tantamount to treason in the Man Booker realm, and things began to get rather nasty when one reviewer declared, “Dame Stella? We’d have been better off with Dame Edna.” (Read more in the Guardian)
We need to spare a thought for the judges though who had read all 100 plus books in the long list and then read the short list three times. I think the Man Booker could be introduced as an endurance sport!
All this talk of ‘readability’ bodes well for the likes of me, what have you enjoyed from the list, which ones have ‘readability’ and which ones, just as interestingly, have left you cold?
- Snowdrops by A. D Millar
- Jamrach’s menagerie by Carol Birch
- The sisters brothers by Patrick deWitt
- Half blood blues by Esi Edugyan
- The sense of an ending by Julian Barnes
- Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
P.S. How remiss of me. When I was adding the list of titles to this blog I realised that I have read one! Snowdrops by A.D Millar. I picked it up because it looked short. I really enjoyed it.