Although every time a long or shortlist for a book prize is announced I make the resolution to read every title I rarely ever get round to reading even one of them. The announcement this weekend of the Gordon Burn Book Prize has changed that as I have already read and reviewed the winner. Congratulations to “In Plain Sight – The Life And Lies Of Jimmy Savile” by Dan Davies which was a chilling read and a thorough examination of the Savile case. Although this (unsurprisingly for me) was the only book on the shortlist I have read it would seem to be a highly deserving winner. To celebrate this victory you can read my original review of the book here.
Maxine Peake was on the judging panel and she said of this book;
“Dan Davies’ book is forensically detailed, compelling and admirable objective in the extreme. This is so much more than a book about the monster that is Savile. It’s about grotesque social attitudes towards the famous and money. It also pinpoints the collective culpability we all share in allowing these people to offend and operate.”
The other books on the shortlist were –
Midland by Honor Gavin .
Noontide Toll by Romesh Gunesekera
Original Rockers by Richard King .
Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev .
The Gordon Burn Prize was set up in 2012 to award fresh, undaunted writing. Newcastle born writer Burn penned a novel “Alma Cogan” which is an extraordinary tale supposing that singer Alma had not died in 1966. I’ve read it a couple of times and it is currently staring down at me from my shelves begging for a re-read, so I think I will need to oblige. Burn himself died in 2009 and the book prize has been set up in his memory.