Booker 2019 Longlist Reaction

It’s here, pals – the Man Booker 2019 longlist has been announced!

The full list from the Booker website, with links to Book Depository:

So, let’s go through this:

Already read: My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite and Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli.

The two Women’s Prize titles.  I’ll start with the one whose inclusion befuddles me the least: I predicted that Lost Children Archive would make the cut and it comes as zero surprise.  I had a mixed experience with it (review here), but I do think it’s a very accomplished book and I completely understand the love that others have for it.  My Sister, The Serial Killer… is actually the book that I liked more, of these two, but looking at some notable snubs (Ocean Vuong! Jan Carson! Colson Whitehead!) I can’t say that I understand why it made this list, other than that it appears to be the literary prize darling of the moment.  Make no mistake, I think it’s a good book.  But, good enough for the Booker, and better than On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous?!  Hm.

Will definitely not read: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann.

I’m one of those heathens who actually hated The Handmaid’s Tale, and I also hate sequels/prequels/spin-offs of things that were originally imagined as standalones (I loved The Hunger Games in college but I have no interest in the new book; I still haven’t read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, etc), so nothing about The Testaments appeals to me.  I’ll admit that I’m curious about Ducks, Newburyport, but not curious enough to read 1000 pages of like, four sentences or whatever it is, especially over a number of other books I’ve been wanting to read recently.  Of these two I’m more likely to read Ducks, Newburyport eventually, but certainly not by October.

Will definitely read: Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry, Lanny by Max Porter, Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson.

Night Boat to Tangier sounds so up my alley it’s not even funny (it’s the only Irish book on this list, and I’ve heard it compared to In Bruges, which is my favorite film – say no more), UK booktube has been raving about Lanny for months and I’m not convinced that I’ll love it but I’m curious enough to give it a try, and I’ve been wanting to read Jeanette Winterson for ages, and I love Frankenstein so this seems like a good place to start.

And… the rest.

Of these I think I’m most likely to read The Man Who Saw Everything.  I’m kind of curious about Girl, Woman, Other, but it’s a bit long so I’ll wait to hear some more assessments of it before making my decision.  Apparently An Orchestra of Minorities has something to do with the Odyssey, so I should probably be excited about it, but I’ve heard a few too many lukewarm things.  But, maybe.  Sci-fi/dystopia isn’t my thing, so The Wall isn’t at the top of my list, but who knows.  I didn’t even know there was a new Salman Rushdie, which makes me feel like I’ve been living on another planet, but at a glance I can’t say I’m terribly interested by it.  I think the Elif Shafak sounds kind of terrible (I’m really, really not into ‘in the moments before they die’ stories), but I could probably be convinced to read it if I read enough rave reviews.

So, overall?

Needless to say, I will not be reading this entire longlist, which I’m actually really happy about.  I’ve already publicly pledged my allegiance to Women in Translation Month, and I’m really looking forward to my TBR.  I was so nervous that I was going to see a list of 13 titles that sounded super enticing to me, so I’m selfishly pleased that that’s not the case.  (Also, apologies if you follow me specifically for my Booker coverage – but for my own sanity, I can’t do this every year.)

But once I take a step back from my selfish happiness over not loving this list, I must confess to being disappointed.  This is certainly a list of literary heavy hitters, which makes a radical departure from the 2018 list which was filled with debuts and genre fiction, but honestly, I found myself much more inspired and intrigued by the freshness of last year’s list.  This list is… about what I was expecting.  There’s nothing egregiously awful about it at a glance, but there’s nothing that really excites me, either.

Also, moment of silence for The Fire Starters, hands down the best piece of fiction I’ve read so far in 2019.  I guess the Booker couldn’t do Troubles Lit two years in a row?

What are your thoughts on the Booker longlist?  Which titles are you most and least excited to see her?  What are you planning on reading?  What do you think was snubbed?  Let’s talk in the comments!

Man Booker 2018 Winner – Anna Burns

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Huge congratulations to Anna Burns for winning the 2018 Man Booker with her subtly powerful novel Milkman, which will be published in the U.S. by Graywolf Press in December.

Kwame Anthony Appiah, 2018 Chair of judges, says: ‘None of us has ever read anything like this before. Anna Burns’ utterly distinctive voice challenges conventional thinking and form in surprising and immersive prose. It is a story of brutality, sexual encroachment and resistance threaded with mordant humour. Set in a society divided against itself, Milkman explores the insidious forms oppression can take in everyday life.

I couldn’t believe it – not only did I predict the winner which I think is a first-time occurrence for me, this is exactly the result I had wanted.  I do think that any of the other five would have been perfectly worthy winners – there isn’t a single one that would have made me angry had it won, even my least favorite Washington Black, which I do see the merit in even though I wasn’t crazy about it personally – but I wouldn’t have been excited by any result other than this one.  So, I had a 1 in 6 chance of my 2018 Man Booker journey concluding on a happy note, and I got it.  I’m so thrilled.  I thought Milkman was a quiet powerhouse of a novel, which comprehensively examines the reality of living as a young woman in a community divided by civil unrest, under the constant and pervasive threat of violence.  It’s funny and unsettling and intelligent, with one of the most unique voices I’ve read in anything recently, and I absolutely loved it.  Full review here.

Also, I said this before on Twitter, but I just want to reiterate that this was my first year reading the entire Man Booker longlist, and part of what made it such a fun experience were all the wonderful people I’ve met and the fantastic conversations I’ve had across social media about this year’s list.  So, if we’ve chatted at all about the Man Booker this year, I just wanted to say thank you for making this such a fun endeavor for me.

What did you think of Milkman, and which book did you want to win this year?  Comment and let me know!

Man Booker 2018 Recap & Winner Prediction

We made it!  The Man Booker 2018 winner announcement is coming up tomorrow and I have officially read all 13 longlisted titles and I had such fun doing so.  This is actually my first time ever completing a longlist, and I while I had a lot of ups and downs with it, I thought this was a rather solid list, with the majority of the books earning a 4 star rating from me.

But it wasn’t quite everything I had hoped it would be and more.  From an interesting and innovative longlist, I found the shortlist selection rather lacking, and there’s only one winner possibility that would really excite me.  But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the entire longlist, ranked from worst to best in my opinion:

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13. Snap by Belinda Bauer
Quick summary: Jack’s mother disappears and a week later is found dead, and years later Jack is looking after his younger siblings while attempting to get to the bottom of her murder.
Quick review: Val McDermid, we’re not mad because a thriller was on the longlist; we’re mad because it was a shit thriller.
Full review HERE ★★☆☆☆

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12. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Quick summary: Blah blah post-war London blah blah family secrets.
Quick review: Beautifully written but narratively and thematically vapid.
Full review HERE ★★☆☆☆

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11. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan** shortlisted
Quick summary: 11-year-old Washington Black was born into slavery on a plantation in Barbados, but when his master’s eccentric brother begins to use him as an assistant, Wash’s life is turned upside down and he embarks on a thrilling journey.
Quick review: Not quite sharp and insightful enough to have real literary merit and not entertaining enough to be a fun mindless read, Washington Black exists in my mind in total literary limbo.
Full review HERE ★★☆☆☆

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10. Sabrina by Nick Drnaso
Quick summary: A woman named Sabrina goes missing, and the people left behind struggle to make sense of her disappearance in the first ever graphic novel to be longlisted for the Booker.
Quick review: While it excels at creating an atmosphere thick with paranoia and tension, it doesn’t use its momentum to really go anywhere.
Full review HERE ★★★★☆
(*I am aware that my star rating for Sabrina is higher than my star ratings for these next two, but I wouldn’t hand Sabrina the Booker over either of these so I felt like I had to put them in this order.)

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9. The Overstory by Richard Powers** shortlisted
Quick summary: Nine disparate narratives are eventually connected into a thematic treatise on environmentalism.
Quick review: While Powers’ prose is gorgeous and his ideas are rich and stimulating, The Overstory meanders along and never quite justifies its length, or its choice to be written as a novel rather than a nonfiction essay on the same subject.
Full review HERE ★★★☆☆

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8. The Long Take by Robin Robertson** shortlisted
Quick summary: A Canadian war veteran travels across the U.S. and lands in an increasingly modernized Los Angeles while suffering from PTSD.
Quick review: Gorgeously written and ambitious, but deceptively basic in its execution in spite of its innovative format.
Full review HERE ★★★☆☆

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7. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner** shortlisted
Quick summary: A young mother Romy receives two life sentences for murdering her stalker, and we follow her and other inmates in a woman’s prison as they grapple with the difficult realities of their new life.
Quick review: Both nuanced and thorough, The Mars Room went above and beyond what I was expecting from its premise, but unfortunately a handful of POV characters end up being extraneous and Kushner is never able to justify their inclusion or integrate their voices into the narrative in a cohesive way.
Full review HERE ★★★★☆

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6. The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
Quick summary: Three sisters are raised on the outskirts of society by an eccentric father who has raised them to fear all other men.
Quick review: Quietly powerful and thematically subtle, this not-quite-dystopia is let down by its comparisons to The Handmaid’s Tale, but it’s a strong and unique work that stands on its own just fine.
Full review HERE ★★★★☆

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5. Everything Under by Daisy Johnson** shortlisted
Quick summary: A lexicographer reflects on her fractured relationship with her mother, thinking back to a period in their life when they lived together on a river boat and were visited by a stranger for a month one winter.
Quick review: Johnson’s prose is accomplished and lyrical, and the depth to this novel is rewarding and unexpected, though unfortunately the awkward integration of a magical realism element did not work for me at all.
Full review HERE ★★★★☆

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4. From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
Quick summary: Three disparate short stories eventually dovetail into a narrative which connects the lives of a Syrian refugee, a young Irish boy, and an older Irish man.
Quick review: Achingly sad and flawlessly written, Ryan once again shows off his prowess at lyrical prose and complex characters.
Full review HERE ★★★★☆

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3. Normal People by Sally Rooney
Quick summary: A subversive take on the will they/won’t they premise which follows two young lovers in contemporary Ireland.
Quick review: Perceptive and surprisingly intelligent, Normal People transcends its simple premise a hundred times over.
Full review HERE ★★★★★

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2. Milkman by Anna Burns** shortlisted
Quick summary: Set in an unnamed city that’s probably Belfast against the backdrop of the Troubles, Milkman follows an unnamed protagonist who’s presumed to be having an affair with the milkman, who isn’t actually a milkman.
Quick review: Unnervingly placid on the surface, Milkman‘s power comes from its comprehensive examination of how to navigate daily life in a community torn apart by civil unrest.
Full review HERE ★★★★★ (I changed my rating from 4 to 5 stars – this one just keeps rising in my estimation)

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1. In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne
Quick summary: Three boys growing up in a housing estate in London want to make something of their lives, but struggle to break free of the violence and radicalization that are threatening their community.
Quick review: Frenetic, emotionally charged, and utterly unforgettable, In Our Mad and Furious City is the most deserving winner by a mile in my book, and the fact that it wasn’t shortlisted is rather criminal.
Full review HERE ★★★★★

As for my winner prediction… to recap, we’re looking at the following: The Mars Room, The Overstory, Everything Under, Milkman, Washington Black, and The Long Take.  I could make a case for any of these.  From an optics standpoint, obviously Washington Black would look the best (black female non-American author) and The Overstory would look the worst (white male American author – and he would commit the sin of being the third American winner in a row).  I don’t think Washington Black is going to win; I just don’t think it has the literary caliber of the rest of the list.  And while my gut tells me that The Overstory is the most Man Booker-y book on this list, I don’t think it’s going to win either.  The judges aren’t living under a rock; they know as well as anyone that ‘American man wins Man Booker third year in a row’ isn’t a headline anyone wants to see.  So, what are we left with?

40106338Winner prediction: Milkman by Anna Burns.  Is this wishful thinking?  Yes.  Am I officially jinxing it with my complete inability to accurately predict literary prize winners?  Also yes.  Sorry, Milkman.  But I think it ticks all the right boxes.  Topical (feminist undercurrents; thorough depiction of social unrest; plus it’s officially been 50 years since the conflict that started The Troubles broke out so the topic itself is arguably more resonant this year than it would be any other year), structurally innovative, challenging, and poetic… I think it’s got what it takes.  And I certainly hope it wins.  I think I’ll feel a strong sense of anticlimax if any of the others take the prize.

Which book does everyone else think is going to win tomorrow, and which would you like to see win?  Let’s discuss!

Man Booker 2018 Shortlist Reaction

Well, here we are!  I’ve read 10/13 so far and the shortlist was announced this morning.

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Photo from the Man Booker website.

Anna Burns (UK)  Milkman (Faber & Faber)

Esi Edugyan (Canada)   Washington Black (Serpent’s Tail)

Daisy Johnson (UK)   Everything Under (Jonathan Cape)

Rachel Kushner (USA)   The Mars Room (Jonathan Cape)

Richard Powers (USA)   The Overstory (William Heinemann)

Robin Robertson (UK)   The Long Take (Picador)

I posted my predictions on Twitter yesterday: In Our Mad and Furious City, From a Low and Quiet Sea, The Overstory, Everything Under, Normal People, Milkman, so, I only got 3/6.  And I find it crazy that having read 10/13, all 3 that I haven’t read yet made the shortlist (Washington Black, The Long Take, and The Overstory which I started last night).  4/6 of the shortlisters are women; are we going to finally see another woman win??  Hopefully.

The one I’m most excited to see on this list is Milkman, which I thought was simply brilliant, if a bit niche, so I didn’t think it was likely that it was going to make the shortlist over some more conventional choices, but I ultimately did add it to my predictions list at the last second as I thought it was so deserving.  And, unless I end up really loving one of the three I haven’t read yet, it’s the one I’m rooting for to win.

The other two I’ve read, Everything Under and The Mars Room, I also really enjoyed – I gave 4 stars to both – but they’re not the ones I had been most hoping to see on the list.  Which brings me to what I consider the three major snubs:

In Our Mad and Furious City is literally the only one I’ve read so far where I’ve thought ‘yes, this is a winner.’  It’s a flawlessly written, unapologetic account of working class London told through the eyes of five different characters, and it’s fierce and frenetic and utterly unforgettable.  Its exclusion from the shortlist baffles me.

From a Low and Quiet Sea has the best sentence-by-sentence writing of any of the longlisters I’ve read, by a landslide, and while that alone shouldn’t guarantee a book a spot on the shortlist, it’s also a highly moving and intelligent work.  Ryan has been longlisted before but never shortlisted, and I really thought this was going to be his time.  This is actually the one I would have bet on to win, if I’d had to put money on one of them.  So, I’m glad I’m not the betting type.

Normal People was largely considered the favorite to win, if you’re interested in odds and all that, so its exclusion was probably the most surprising.  The hype is a bit extreme with this one, but even so, I ended up loving it, and thought it was one of the more emotionally complex things I’ve read in ages.  I’d been really warming up to the idea of this winning, so to not see it on the shortlist is rather odd.

Very relieved to see that Snap and Warlight were passed over.  And probably Sabrina as well… I finished it last night and I’m still working out how I felt about it; I did really enjoy it but ultimately don’t think it was shortlist material.  Also, while I enjoyed The Water Cure, I don’t particularly think that was shortlist material either, so I’m fine with the exclusion of that one.

But anyway, all things considered, I’m a little underwhelmed, but it’s also a little tricky to have a decisive opinion on the shortlist when I’ve only read half of it.  Which I still can’t believe.  10/13 of the longlist and I’ve only read half the shortlist.  Just my luck.  I’m going to keep at it though, I’ve got The Overstory out from the library right now, a hold on Washington Black, and I ordered The Long Take online.  Hoping one of them ends up being 5 stars for me.

What are everyone’s thoughts on the shortlist?  Comment and let me know!

Man Booker 2018 Longlist Reaction

I wasn’t initially planning on making a reaction post about this, and I still don’t intend to go through the list title by title (if you’re curious about my thoughts on any title in particular though don’t hesitate to ask!)

But the more I think about this year’s list and the more reactions I read/watch, the more I feel like getting my thoughts down all in one place.

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Photo from the Man Booker website.

So, in case you missed it – The Man Booker 2018 longlist was announced!  And I think it caught everyone by surprise.  There are a lot of noteworthy elements in play: a graphic novel was longlisted for the first time, there’s also a crime novel (not a first, but still unexpected), there are four debuts, more female writers than male, no countries represented outside the UK/Ireland/US/Canada, and several big name authors who everyone thought were guaranteed a spot were overlooked (Barnes, Hollinghurst, Smith, Ward, et al).

Naturally, reactions have been completely split – a lot of people find the list fresh and exciting, while others find it sophomoric and believe it’s compromising the integrity of the Booker.  I’m firmly in the first camp.

I find the complaint that I keep seeing crop up, that the Man Booker is pandering to a non-literary crowd with this year’s longlist, is incredibly ironic since last year’s list in my opinion supports that claim much better.  Swing Time, Underground Railroad, Lincoln in the Bardo, etc., all of these titles were incredibly mainstream in a way that none of this year’s nominees are.  How many of your non-reader friends do you think are going to pick up From a Low and Quiet Sea or even Warlight?  I mean, obviously literary prizes do not exist in a vacuum, obviously judges look at what their selection as a whole says rather than just choosing the 13 ‘best’ titles.  Obviously this list shows a deliberate interest in debut authors and lesser known works.  But do I believe that this list is less ‘literary,’ less valuable than any that have come before, just because it acknowledges debuts above established white male writers?  Absolutely not.

Also, literary prizes are inherently subjective.  This isn’t anything new.  Judges each have their own strengths and weaknesses as readers, and expecting that subjectivity to be entirely removed from the selection process is utterly pointless.  This year’s panel of judges has a certain vision for the Booker, but who’s to say that next year’s panel is going to be similar?  I think the 2017 and 2018 longlists are night and day from one another – personally I find the 2018 list much more interesting – but all this talk of the Booker essentially jumping the shark in my opinion is totally premature.  It’s difficult to track ‘trends’ with a literary prize that uses a different judging panel every single year.

I don’t know – I just get tired of argument along the lines of ‘is this list really the best fiction published in the past year?’ (usually in reference to the Established White Male Authors who were overlooked) when the answer is always, always, always going to be of course not, of course it’s not the ‘best’ fiction, there is no such thing as the ‘best’ fiction.  171 titles were submitted for consideration this year, and I’m sure that each and every one of them has its merits and shortcomings.  A different panel of judges would have probably selected 13 different books altogether, but does the merit of that hypothetical list negate the merit and validity of the list we were given?

I think it’s an interesting list.  I like that it’s not what we expected.  I don’t think it’s perfect, not by a long shot, but I am looking forward to discovering at least a handful of great new books and authors.

What are your thoughts on the Man Booker longlist?  And the Man Booker (or even literary prizes) in general?  Comment and let me know!

The Golden Man Booker Shortlist Reaction & Discussion

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Man Booker, this year they’ve launched the Golden Man Booker, where five judges were each assigned a decade of past Man Booker winners and chosen what they believe is the most exemplary work of their decade.  Now those 5 books have been selected and it’s going to be put to a vote by the general public, to determine the best ever Man Booker winner.

When I first heard about this prize, I was quite excited, as I enjoy following the Man Booker and there are quite a few past winners I’ve been dying for a good excuse to read, as well as plenty that I believe would be very worthy winners.  I was already trying to make room for this shortlist in my June TBR.  But admittedly, when I saw this list my heart sank.  I’ll be honest: I am incredibly bored by this selection of books.  Is this really the best of the best?  Was breaking it up by decade the best way to go about this?  Anyway, let’s take a look at all of these:

 

In A Free State by VS Naipaul: I’ve never read any of Naipaul’s work, and I have no doubt that he’s a skilled and accomplished writer, but it is also well documented that he’s a misogynistic ass.  And look, we can talk about separating the art from the artist all day long, but at the end of the day, a prize like this is honoring the author just as much as the book itself.  And it’s not 1971 anymore.  In our current social climate, when #MeToo and #TimesUp are (rightfully) gaining traction, it’s an insult to shortlist a writer who’s openly disdainful of women in a prize which honors the best fiction of the past 50 years.  I might read this book eventually, especially if I ever commit myself to reading the Man Booker backlist, but it’s not something I’m feeling particularly excited about.  Anyway, I was really hoping Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea would be the 70s winner to finally give me a push to read it.

Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively: The only book I haven’t read that I both own and know exactly where it is, so this is the one I’m most likely to pick up.  Unfortunately the summary isn’t holding my attention terribly well… but at least it’s relatively short.  I’m particularly sad that my biggest horse in this race, Kazuo Ishiguro, wasn’t chosen in this category for The Remains of the Day, which I think is a phenomenal book.  But I’m glad to see two female writers on the shortlist.  Another one I’d have liked to have seen chosen is The Bone People by Keri Hulme, which I’ve had on my shelf for ages and which I’ve been dying to pick up.  It’s also noteworthy that Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children wasn’t the choice here, as it won the “Booker of Bookers” prize to celebrate the MB’s 25th anniversary.

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje: Ok, this is admittedly ridiculous of me, but you know that Seinfeld episode where Elaine hated the film adaptation of The English Patient?  Elaine Benez is my fictional alter-ego so I have always taken for granted that I would hate The English Patient.  Talk about weird associations we make in our heads.  Anyway, I think I own this… somewhere… I will probably read it once it has been located.  My 90s vote would have been for any of these books that I haven’t read: Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle (a seminal Irish writer I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t read yet), The Ghost Road by Pat Barker (I have an ARC of her latest book but still haven’t read anything by her), or The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (which I’ve heard such wonderful things about).  I guess it says a lot about Kamila Shamsie’s objectivity that she didn’t go with The God of Small Things, as she and Roy were both longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction this year (Shamsie was shortlisted while Roy was not).

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel: This is such a polarizing book, but I have a feeling I’m going to like it.  I enjoy Tudor history as well as sort of dense historical fiction.  I’m not going to rush out to read it as it’s so long and seems like a bit of a time commitment that I just can’t give at the moment, but I fully intend to read it eventually.  I think The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood would have been a worthy choice (the only Atwood novel I’ve actually enjoyed), and I would have loved the excuse to read The Sea by John Banville over the excuse to read Wolf Hall, but oh well.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders: This is the only winner on this list that I’ve read so far.  This is an interesting one.  It wasn’t my first choice to win, but I did appreciate it and was glad they gave the award to a book which succeeded in pushing boundaries and challenging genre conventions in a way I’ve rarely seen before.  But my bigger question is: in an award which endeavors to reward the book that has ‘stood the test of time,’ should last year’s winner even be in the running?  I’m not saying it shouldn’t – I really haven’t made up my mind.  But since the winner is going to a public vote, doesn’t it look likely that the book that most people have read – the most recent winner – is going to be the front-runner?  I can’t help but to feel like Lincoln in the Bardo would the most anticlimactic winner of the Golden Man Booker, if only because of its release date… but maybe that’s not fair.

So, by the logic I’ve just laid out, I think Lincoln in the Bardo or Wolf Hall is going to be crowned winner next month, but I wouldn’t be surprised by The English Patient.  I would be surprised by In A Free State, but I would be absolutely dumbfounded if Moon Tiger claims the victory.  That’s not an assessment of what I think is most and least deserving (as I’ve said, I’ve only read one of these books); just what I think is most and least likely.

I don’t think I’ll be reading the shortlist after all, and as such, I probably won’t be voting.  I liked Lincoln in the Bardo, but not passionately enough to confidently cast my vote for it.  But maybe eventually I’ll read all of these books.  Maybe I’ll put together my own Golden Man Booker shortlist, and choose the book from each decade that I’ve most been wanting to read, and make this my excuse to finally read them.  I won’t be doing that in June, I have plenty of other books I need to be reading, but maybe I can fit that in at some point in the second half of this year.  Would anyone join me if I did that?  Not with my list, necessarily, but in making your own and committing yourself to reading them at some point.

So anyway – what do you guys think?  Are you going to vote, and if so, who for?  What do you think of the shortlist in general?  Are you going to try to read it?  And what do you think of the inclusion of 2017 winner in a prize which is attempting to reward longevity in literary resonance?  Comment and let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

Man Booker 2017 Winner – George Saunders

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Congratulations to American author George Saunders who just took home the Man Booker for his first full-length novel, Lincoln in the Bardo!

I read Lincoln in the Bardo earlier this year, and to be honest, I still haven’t quite figured out what to make of it.  It’s one of the most unique things I’ve ever read – Saunders creates a striking fusion of multiple literary styles, resulting in a work that’s part novel, part play, and part poetry – but was the result of this eclectic mix of styles harmony or dissonance?  Personally, I haven’t decided… but the Man Booker panel clearly has, so again, congratulations to George Saunders for wowing the judges with his fascinating and experimental novel.

What did you guys think of Lincoln in the Bardo?  Man Booker worthy?  Let me know what you think!