Booker Prize: 2011


18 October 2011

Winner: Julian Barnes (which I didn’t read)

6 September 2011

The Short List announced. The four I’ve read:

The Sisters Brothers ~ Patrick DeWitt ♦♦♦♦

Jamrach’s Menagerie ~ Carol Birch  ♦♦♦

Pigeon English ~ Stephen Kelman  ♦♦♦ 

Snowdrops ~ A. D. Miller  ♦♦½

The two I have not read:

Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape – Random House)

Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues (Serpent’s Tail)

And it’s unlikely I will – at least for now. My last one will be Sebastian Barry On Canaan’s Side (Faber).

To see Snowdrops on the list is pathetic.

3 September 2011

I’ve read all of the Booker Long List nominees (13) that I could get my hands on (9) before the short list is announced (September 6th – next Tuesday) That leaves four. I’ll be downloading On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry to my iPad on September 8th (after the short list is announced). If the last three are on the short list, I’ll try and get copies to read. If not, I won’t bother. Those three are: Alan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child, Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending and Esi Edugyan’s Half Blood Blues. My list (in order of preference) of the nine I’ve read:

Derby Day ~ D. J. Taylor ♦♦♦♦½ 

The Sisters Brothers ~ Patrick DeWitt ♦♦♦♦

Far to Go ~ Alison Pick ♦♦♦♦

The Testament of Jessie Lamb ~ Jane Rogers  ♦♦♦

Jamrach’s Menagerie ~ Carol Birch  ♦♦♦

The Last Hundred Days ~ Patrick McGuinness ♦♦♦

A Cupboard Full of  Coats ~ Yvette Edwards ♦♦♦

Pigeon English ~ Stephen Kelman  ♦♦♦ 

Snowdrops ~ A. D. Miller  ♦♦½

28 August 2011

After serious deliberation (!), I somewhat reluctantly had to move Derby Day D. J. Taylor a click ahead of DeWitt’s

23 August 2011

Having Recently finished The Testament of Jessie Lamb ~ Jane Rogers, and started my eighth Booker (more than half-way home), here’s where they stack up thus far:

  1. The Sisters Brothers ~ Patrick DeWitt ♦♦♦♦
  2. Far to Go ~ Alison Pick ♦♦♦♦
  3. The Testament of Jessie Lamb ~ Jane Rogers  ♦♦♦
  4. Jamrach’s Menagerie ~ Carol Birch  ♦♦♦
  5. A Cupboard Full of  Coats ~ Yvette Edwards ♦♦♦
  6. Pigeon English ~ Stephen Kelman  ♦♦♦
  7. Snowdrops ~ A. D. Miller  ♦♦½
I’ve just glanced back at last year’s crop, and at least four of them blow by this current field (Donoghue, Galgut, Mitchell, and  Carey), excluding Patrick DeWitt’s remarkable novel. Currently reading D. J. Taylor’s Derby Day.

13 August 2011 [Edit 8-16: Actually I’ve read six to this point. I had forgotten about Alison Pick’s which I’d place @ #2 on my short list (so far)]

I’ve finished six of the 13 nominated books (the long list) for The Man Booker Prize, most recently A.D. Miller’s Snowdrops, which I just felt had a totally inauthentic narrative voice. It looks like I’ll only get two more read before the short list is announced. Here’s how the five stack up:

  1. The Sisters Brothers ~ Patrick DeWitt ♦♦♦♦
  2. Far to Go ~ Alison Pick ♦♦♦♦
  3. Jamrach’s Menagerie ~ Carol Birch  ♦♦♦
  4. A Cupboard Full of  Coats ~ Yvette Edwards ♦♦♦
  5. Pigeon English ~ Stephen Kelman  ♦♦♦
From my readings so far, I’d put #1 and #2 on the short list and #3 is on the bubble.

6 August 2011

Well, this one surprised me: Alison Pick’s Far To GoIt’s a holocaust book and I had lower expectations of this one that some other I’d read. Although still not up to the standards of The Sisters Brothers, it definitely separated itself from the pack (the others I’ve read). Are things looking up?

2 August 2011

I finished Pigeon English this weekend and can think of several books on  last years list that are superior to this one. And this one is a cut below Carol Birch’s novel of seafaring youth. Short review here.

31 July 2011

Let me revise something  I indicated earlier: the availability of the 13 seems to be severely limited as compared to last year. This is a huge disappointment. And now with the third book on the list I’ll finish it up today, I’m concerned about the quality of the list as well. There is the Barry to look forward to though…

26 July 2011

Here we are. The LL has come a’callin’. That’s 13, as ever. I always try and read as many of these as  I can before the short-list is announced. So let me start with the two I’ve read:

  • Patrick DeWitt The Sisters Brothers. This was a terrific book and I loved the voice. DeWitt resides in Oregon, but he was born in British Colombia, so he’s golden. This is currently at #7 on my favorite books of the year for 2011. Should be a shortlister.
  • Carol Birch Jamrach’s Menagerie. Only made it to 35th place on my current list (so it can only go down from there). Which is not to say it was a bad book, but I’ve read plenty (that would be 34) better books at this point. Don’t see it making the short list, but I could be all wet. All wet like the seafaring characters in the book, get it?

So that leaves 11 books. I’m gonna list ’em in order of availability, after the first three which are not yet released here. The first one is easy, since it was already on my radar and I’ve loved  each and everyone one of his books. The Hollinghurst was also already on my tbr:

  1. Sebastian Barry On Canaan’s Side due out on September 8th. Cool cover!
  2. Alan Hollinghurst The Stranger’s Child. Also already on my tbr list, but not out this side of the pond until October 11th.
  3. Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending. Barnes is the last author on the list who I’ve read before. Or, to be honest, even heard of. This one is simultaneously out of print and to be published on August 11th. What the fuck does that mean? [Edit: Now it means Jan 24, 2012]
  4. Stephen Kelman Pigeon English. Kindle
  5. A.D. Miller Snowdrops. Kindle
  6. Alison Pick Far to Go. Kindle
  7. Yvvette Edwards A Cupboard Full of Coats. Out in PB
  8. Patrick McGuinness The Last Hundred Days. Out in PB*
  9. Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues. Out in PB*
  10. Jane Rogers The Testament of Jessie Lamb. Out in PB*
  11. D.J. Taylor Derby Day. Out in PB, but also out of print. This may take some doing

25 July 2011

Long list tomorrow. Usually I’ve already read a few. Might not be the case this year  though.

24 July 2011

Waiting for the long list to be announced. Should be along about Thursday. Wonder how many I’ve already read?

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6 responses to “Booker Prize: 2011

  1. Pingback: Man Booker Prize | Chazz W

  2. Pingback: Booker: The Long List arrives | Chazz W

  3. PatD

    I’ll be reading!

  4. Pingback: Booker Update | Chazz W

  5. Pingback: The Short List Cometh (Tuesday) | Chazz W

  6. Pingback: Hey Shorty. You suck | Chazz W

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