Thursday, 17 September 2015

The ACTUAL Man Booker Shortlist 2015

On Tuesday morning my refreshing thumb was on fire on Twitter waiting for the Man Booker announcement for the shortlist 2015 and at 11am I was rewarded with the list. Here it is.

I am disappointed that just one of my favourites from the long list has made it to the shortlist. I'm currently half way though The Chimes and am surprised that it has not been selected. There was a lot of comments in the media about how the odds were against Anna Smaill's first novel which is a shame because I am enjoying it very much.

A Little Life has, as predicted, made it to the shortlist. Sometimes harrowing, sometimes romantic and utterly gripping are a few of the ways it has been described. Personally I am not a fan of massively harrowing stories and will be avoiding it even if it wins. It is also the largest book in the list which always makes me suspicious...You didn't read it; admit it, it was long and wordy and you want to burn the damn thing. I'm sure that isn't true but I am always suspicious of longer books on prize lists.

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy looks to be some kind of American psycho style story set against a corporate background and punctuated by the media that affects the main protagonist U. It sounds a little heavy to get through, and could be quite hard to follow and reviews confirm that it is "confusing". Not really something I'd consider a criteria for 'literary fiction'.

A Brief History Of Seven Killings
Following the story of an attempted assassination of Bob Marley, Jamaican writer Marlon James's third novel is reportedly written in a considerable amount of patois which some readers find difficult. The taste of the judges this year appears to be very conflicting with my own as so far we're half way through the list and I'm not excited about any of the subject matters so far.

The Fishermen
Okay here we go, some real fiction, some real originality makes it onto the list. The story follows four brothers who discover a prophesy which drives a wedge between each of them. The guardian has called it a promising debut novel and I am pleased to see a first novel on the list because I think that's important for the Man Booker Prize to be promoting new authors.

The Year of the Runaways
This one sounds a lot like The Island or What Was Promised about migrants in Sheffield. It's definitely got the topical element on its side but its not particularly grabbing for me. The guardian calls it a beautiful and brilliant novel and most reviewers give it 5 stars. A more promising second half of the list.

A Spool of Blue Thread
It so nearly made it onto my predicted shortlist! with a ton of prize nominations and best seller aclaim, Anne Tyler has got some serious character writing behind her which people LOVE to read. A Spool of Blue Thread tops my wishlist at the moment.

Overall I'm not loving the list but it's 50/50 love/hate so fingers crossed for them all. I hope I wasnt too critical, I am really looking forward to the winner being announced.

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