Aravind Adiga - The White Tiger
Gaynor Arnold - Girl in a Blue Dress
Sebastian Barry - The Secret Scripture
John Berger - From A to X
Michelle de Kretser - The Lost Dog
Amitav Ghosh - Sea of Poppies
Linda Grant - The Clothes on Their Backs
Mohammed Hanif - A Case of Exploding Mangoes
Philip Hensher - The Northern Clemency
Joseph O'Neill - Netherland
Salman Rushdie - The Enchantress of Florence
Tom Rob Smith - Child 44
Steve Toltz - A Fraction of the Whole
Wow, that might be a record, a real famine of prediction, two out of thirteen and one other read, but at least the bloggers and their visitors have been brave enough to have a go, couldn't find much in the literary review pages.
So here we go, it's that time of the year I love best, say-what-ya-think-time, blog about them all whether I love them or loath them. Last year I couldn't fault a single book, this year I finally have to read a Salman Rushdie...I'm terrified.
You never usually hear what gets cast aside after fifty pages Chez dovegreyreader scribbles, but this is the Booker prize, gloves off and nor am I going to do my usual typical-me thing and blame myself if I find a book unreadable.
I might as well start as I mean to go on.
Here's a copy of my thoughts posted on the Booker Prize forum a few moments ago.
Having set the scene nicely with my 2/13 longlist predictions I seem
likely to maintain my 100% record of never choosing a Booker winner.
I can't really say what I think yet because I've only read
three two of
them but I will endorse Jamie Byng's comments because I too am stunned
at the presence of Child 44.
It was a brilliant read, a thriller a real page turner, but what you read is what you get, it's not literary fiction, no hidden depths to plumb and fathom that I could discern.I loved it and said so,BUT that has never been what the Booker has stood for imho. It has always been about something much deeper in my mind and Helen Garner's The Spare Room embraces that depth with real dignity.
If I'd been a judge I'd have argued and pleaded that book's cause until I was flat on my face for what it tells us about illness, human nature, friendship, guilt and all those wonderful grist to the mill things that life is all about.Then you read it again and again and discover even more.
Doubtless I'll find all those qualities in the other books as I read them, but I just can't quite hide my disappointment about The Spare Room.