Its that time of year again. Expect many changes and updates to this page.All the books have now be reviewed (2nd October)
The 2007 Booker lists.
|R:0/5 Nicola Barker , Darkmans
R:3/5 Edward Docx , Self Help
R:4/5 Tan Twan Eng , The Gift Of Rain
R:2/5 Anne Enright , The Gathering
R:4/5 Mohsin Hamid , The Reluctant Fundamentalist
R:1/5 Peter Ho Davies ,The Welsh Girl
R:4/5 Lloyd Jones , Mister Pip
R:4/5 Nikita Lalwan i,Gifted
R:2/5 Ian McEwan ,On Chesil Beach
R:3/5 Catherine O’Flynn ,What Was Lost
R:4/5 Michael Redhill , Consolation
R:3/5 Indra Sinha , Animal’s People
R:0/5 AN Wilson , Winnie & Wolf
|r:4/5 Lloyd Jones , Mister Pip *
r:2/5 Ian McEwan ,On Chesil Beach
r:0/5 Nicola Barker , Darkmans
r:4/5 Mohsin Hamid , The Reluctant Fundamentalist **
r:2/5 Anne Enright , The Gathering
r:3/5 Indra Sinha , Animal’s People
|r:2/5 Anne Enright, The Gathering
|I can recommend from the complete longlist.
|good (worth a read)
||average (‘you decide’)
||loo paper (don’t bother)
|Tan Twan Eng , The Gift Of Rain (l)
Mohsin Hamid , The Reluctant Fundamentalist (l) (s)
Nikita Lalwani ,Gifted (l)
Lloyd Jones , Mister Pip (s)
Michael Redhil l,Consolation (l)
|Catherine O’Flynn , What Was Lost (l)
Self Help , Edward Docx (l)
Indra Sinha , Animal’s People (s) (l)
|Nicola Barker , Darkmans (l) (s)
Ian McEwan , On Chesil Beach (l) (s)
Peter Ho Davies , The Welsh Girl (l)
Anne Enright , The Gathering (s) (l)
AN Wilson , Winnie & Wolf (l)
|key: res: reserved,
transit: on its way, stock: in reading queue
R ?/5: reviewed and rating,
(l) long listed.
* my 1st choice
** my second choice
Well The Booker committee do it again…oh dear not a good winner
Hard to get from the Library on the long list announcement:
- Edward Docx – Self Help
- Michael Redhill – Consolation
- Indra Sinha – Animal’s People (s)
- AN Wilson – Winnie & Wolf (16 august publish date)
All others reserved. List shorter than last years. Starting off with either Darkmans and What Was Lost but this won the toss as Darkmans is huge compared to this tome using the Ceri Radford (a daily telegraph writer) who has complained about heavy books being a book reviewer.
With the the shortlist announced on the 6th September (bbc) I find that three have yet to be read by me
- Lloyd Jones,Mister Pip
- Anne Enright,The Gathering
- Indra Sinha,Animal’s People
So some to look forward too its too early to make a prediction with half of the shortlist unread. However on the short list: Mister Pip, and The Reluctant Fundamentalist have stood out.
Having now read the whole shortlist I would like Mister Pip to win it, or the reluctant fundamentalist. Animals People reads to much like a charity campaign, The barker book is dross, and the beach story is not impressive.
The 16th of October is the final date.
Book 1: Catherine O’Flynn,What Was Lost, isbn: 0955138418
A book set in Birmingham and a missing persons case set in the Green Oaks shopping center and the collision of the past with the now.
It covers some of the stuff dealt with in Kingdom Come (my blog) with the message that not all cathedrals of consumerism offer an fulfilled life for anybody. Occasionally witty and just about ties things up at the end in 242 pages.
3/5 Bananas enjoyable.
(s) Book 2: Nicola Barker,Darkmans,isbn: 9780007193622
A ‘chubby’ volume of 830 pages, book three about something about the mentally sub normal whom live in Ashford in Kent, Publisher spiel says that the author was longlisted in 2005 for the prize, but i cannot see a reference to it and i assume it went walkabout during an edit (David Blaine retard inspired).
0/5 Bananas pure trilogy crap, engaging in nothing ness, no story as such, gave up page 220.
Book 3: Tan Twan Eng,The Gift Of Rain, isbn: 9781905802043
Malaysian based tale* of the fall to the Japanese in the second world war and the consequences of what was done how it affects the people now book. Interesting and I finished this book.
* slightly neurotic of censorship in that part of the world
4/5 Bananas. Reads well and is the authors first book too
Due to a power cut we had i read two in a day.
(s) Book 4: Mohsin Hamid,The Reluctant Fundamentalist , isbn:9780241143650
Yet another tale of the lost Indian (this time from Pakistan) which garnered a glowing review from last years winner who did the same sort of thing to this, so be careful.
Quite engaging and makes it point well of the polarised meaning of what it means to be dual identity.
4/5 Bananas Better than last years winner
(s) Book 5: Ian McEwan,On Chesil Beach,isbn:9780224081184
This is the favourite to win in betting circles on the one premise hes won it before and its about the only well know author on the list since nobody has read the others.
Mind you people who bet are retarded. The book has a huge disclaimer, and is tolerable but should be in contention for the bad book sex award (wiki) rather than the booker prize.
The story is of courtship before the sexual revolution (Philip Larkin deemed sex to begin in 1969 in some poem) and so its a stunted affair and generally full of flashbacks.
2/5 Bananas Easily forgotten, not very good.
Book 6: Nikita Lalwani,Gifted,isbn 97806709177075
Complete tale, which i dropped (for another book) and returned to it and still remained good, Story of the child Indian maths genius who is retarded in every other aspect of life knowing that nothing else is deemed normal and makes a break for normal life.
I also seem to remember that this happened in real life recently in England but i cannot find any online reference to it where the the police deemed that the missing person was not missing which the family claimed.
4/5 Bananas rather good
Book 7: Peter Ho Davies, The Welsh Girl, isbn: 978340938256
Odd book that comes with an recommendation from Claire Messud (long listee of last year) and the author sums up by stating the dictionary definition of ‘welch’ at the beginning
second world war tale, set in wales, but writen by an author who probably has never set foot there, and wrote this from america.
Book 8: Self Help,Edward Docx, isbn: 97803304388353
Wondering tale between England,France,America and Russia, a little over descriptive but probably an author to watch. Feels a bit of an overstretch at time but OK
(s) Book 9:Mr Pip, Lloyd Jones,isbn: 9780719564567
Donated by publisher to Library. A writer I hate (charles dickens) teaches an escape out of the south pacific and into civilisation from some kind of civil war. Not precisely a happy ending
Enjoyable tale, certainly a new way to think how crap wirters (thats Charles Dickens) cause death and destruction, worth a go.
(s) Book 10: The Gathering,Anne Enright,isbn::9780224078733
The ‘irish’ book bit like the the sea, where the virgin mary grandmother is revealed not to have been such a virgin. Pure irish crap we have done this before
2/5 bananas yeah whatever next…
Book 11: Winnie & Wolf, AN Wilson,isbn: 9780091796761
Something tedious about Wagner’s ring operas, Hilter and the english Wife bit like radio three (the author went to oxford), since i don’t do the ring cycle i could not give a stuff about this book.
I gave up on this book (100 pages in), no fiction needs to written here, a biography would have been better.
0/5 Bananas, Wagner Hilter and Germany is a topic for a proper biography not crap fiction.
(s) Book 12: Indra Sinha – Animal’s People, isbn: 9780743259200
Reading – Last book on the shortlist means Consolation is the last book I give the the shortlistee a go first. Apparently ‘controversial’ if the website mentioned is to be believed. This is the background i get the impression that india did not want a standard plant and its anti import policies made what happened to eventually do so.
Reads like ngo propaganda. An interesting case study in globalisation. Multi lingual affair in french English and Indian ghetto.
Main Character has a ‘shock’ value while tales of the evil americans daring do are retold while the seedy side (non tourist/business) of Indian life is revealed.
Once you have the other sides ‘perspective’ (see wiki article) then the situation described begins to make sense.
3/5 Bananas – plenty of thought here, the ngo background of the writer makes me think that this is a cause rather than literature but worth a read.
Book 13: Michael Redhill,Consolation, isbn: 9780434011797
Tale set in the past and the present in Toronto, engaging and if a little mixed up at times works well. For the last book on a list this held my interest, much better than a number of the shortlistees.
4/5 Bananas worth a visit
This concludes all books being read by 2nd October. The table has a rating of the good,the average and the ugly and i have made a punt on two worthy winners when announced around the 16th. The Short list is of variable quality with only two of the shortlisted books hitting my good list of five books. Of the remaining four, one is average, and remaining are deemed loo paper.
Last years 2006 coverage (my blog).