Wednesday, 29 July 2009

On the Booker longlist. . .

There's a lot of cynicism about literary awards but the thing I like most about them are their longlists - I inevitably get introduced to books and authors that I haven't heard about. Plus I can root for favourites such as A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book which thankfully made the Booker longlist and is my pick to win. I loved its complexity, its beautiful writing, especially about the delicate nature of childhood, and its treatment of the First World War. I think it's one of her best novels, along with Possession. I've read a few others on the longlist, but the one that intrigues me the most is Simon Mawer's The Glass Room. Stunning cover, for one thing. And I think its premise - following the fate of a house through the Second World War is intriguing. I'm also keen to read Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Sarah Hall's How to Paint a Dead Man. Interesting that the British papers report that the odds on favourite is J.M. Coetzee's Summertime. Hmmm. Would they really give it to the same author three times? I'll certainly read it too, as I liked Youth and Disgrace is still stands as my favourite of all Booker winners. Haven't been that keen on his most recent work though - Elizabeth Costello was an interesting idea that he didn't quite pull off, and it really was an unrewarding slog to get through Diary of a Bad Year.

1 comment:

C.S. said...

The memoirs of Tarzan's chimp Cheetah made the longlist?! Too cool.