I'm never quite sure whether I love this picture of the Kayaker plummeting over the Victoria Falls or
not, but I too have taken the plunge too and shared my Booker prize
shortlist with you all now and many thanks to all the publishers who have shared the bounty with the prize-draw copies. Of course it's not over until Michael Portillo
sings pronounces the winner on Cliff Richard's birthday October 14th and we all sing...well that's just too obvious, I couldn't possibly, go and have a singalong for yourself. (Remember how he had laryngitis and we were all worried sick for him? Well I was.)
In case you've forgotten, the
six seven books on my shortlist
The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga
The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry (late arriving, not in the picture)
From A To X - John Berger
The Lost Dog - Michelle de Kretser
Sea of Poppies - Amitav Ghosh
The Clothes on Their Backs - Linda Grant
The Northern Clemency - Philip Hensher
I've tried to avoid other reviews of the longlist novels whilst I've been reading, though it's often difficult to avoid the general feeling out there about a particular book, but I wanted to read with no pre-conceptions, wanted to know little or nothing about the authors and just see which books headed straight into my consciousness and thence my heart. I am nothing if not an involved and emotional reader and this always plays an important part in how I then choose Booker hopefuls and doubtless why I have never yet chosen the winner. My head would choose a different list entirely.
Now that I've finished and chosen I've read the reviews and this list has attracted a real mixture, from superlative to plain vitriolic which seems par for the course, probably makes the whole book reading / litcrit / judging thing as subjective as it ever was and evermore shall be.
Over to you judges, and hang it all let's have some more Cliff and the Shadows while we're waiting.
And now I'm hopefully en route to France and the Memoir Writing course so the scribbles will be as and when over the next week.