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Archive for September 8th, 2010

The Man Booker Prize 2010 shortlist has been announced

Peter Carey Parrot and Olivier in America (Faber and Faber)

Emma Donoghue Room (Picador – Pan Macmillan)

Damon Galgut In a Strange Room (Atlantic Books – Grove Atlantic)

Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury)

Andrea Levy The Long Song (Headline Review –
Headline Publishing Group)

Tom McCarthy C (Jonathan Cape – Random House)

The list is a bit of a surprise says the Guardian & I’d certainly agree!  (When, though, isn’t it?!).  Christos Tsiolkas’s polarising The Slap didn’t make the cut.  Nor did David Mitchell’s wonderful The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet which I’m currently reading.  Half-way through and unless the ending is terrible, I’m at a loss as to how it didn’t get through.  It was one of the favourites.  Quite what Mitchell has to do to win the Booker is beyond me.  But that’s literary prizes for you – especially the Booker! 

Once again Peter Carey makes it through!  Were he to win for Parrot and Olivier in America, he would be the first person to win the Booker Prize three times.  I quite enjoyed Parrot, it is definitely a return to form for Carey, but at the time (read before I started this blog), I didn’t think it was quite as good as his previous best works.  Though worthy of a longlisting, I really can’t see how it is better than The Thousand Autumns.

I haven’t read any of the others.  I had planned to read the shortlist, but not sure I’d enjoy all of them.  Of choosing the shortlist from the longlist of 13, Chair of Judges Andrew Motion said: “In doing so, we feel sure we’ve chosen books which demonstrate a rich variety of styles and themes – while in every case providing deep individual pleasures.”  Does that mean the judges deliberately select a range of styles rather than the six best just so that everyone can find something on the shortlist they’ll like?  Who knows.  Apart from the glaring omissions, the list is broad and there are some genuine contenders left…

There has been a mixed reaction to Room by Emma Donoghue, but it is certainly generating much comment.  Lisa @ ANZLitLovers disliked it immensely.  The Guardian newspaper has been more generous in its praise. 

The celebrated experimental novel C by Tom McCarthy is also generating a lot of interest and has been installed as favourite.  This is the kind of novel I’d like to get my hands on… 

What are your thoughts on the shortlist?  Any favourites?  Any favourites that didn’t make it through?

jb @LD!

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