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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Man Booker Prize 2010

The Man booker Shortlist has just been announced.  This always interests me.  I only once, in about 1990, tried to read all the books on the shortlist.  I only liked one of them and have never tried to do it since.  Life is too short to read books you dislike, or, still worse, hate.
I sometimes read the ones that appeal, either before or after the prize is announced.  I have never read one purely because they are on the list or have won the prize, though occasionally their appearance on the list has jogged my memory that that was a book I had intended to read at some point.
At first glance the only one that immediately appeals is the Peter Carey.  I adore Peter Carey and read most of what he writes, but not necessarily at the time they are published.  This was one I already wanted to read regardless of its appearance on any lists.
I don't know enough about any of the others.  Their appearance on the list means that they will be prominent in bookshops and libraries between now and the announcing of the winner, so I might look at them to see if they look interesting.
Some people are adamant that they will never read a book just because it has won a prize or been on a shortlist.  I would certainly never read a book solely for that reason.  But I have met people who seem to think that because a book has been chosen by a judging panel, that it is automatically not worth reading.  I don't agree with that either.
Peter Carey Parrot and Olivier in America (Faber and Faber)
Emma Donoghue Room (Picador - Pan Macmillan)
Damon Galgut In a Strange Room (Atlantic Books - Grove Atlantic)
Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury)
Andrea Levy The Long Song (Headline Review -
Headline Publishing Group)
Tom McCarthy (Jonathan Cape - Random House)

1 comment:

2paw said...

I agree with you, I like to read 'worthy' books sometimes, but only the ones I think are worthy. A shiny medal on the front of a book is no recommendation!!