Yesterday saw the announcement of the six titles deemed worthy to be on the 2017 Man Booker shortlist. I’d been attempting to read as many as possible on the longlist in the hope that I would pretty much have the shortlist covered and read before the announcement of the winner on 17th October just over a month’s time. I read six of the titles on the longlist. The reviews can be found be following the links:
Swing Time – Zadie Smith (Hamish Hamilton 2016) ****
Autumn – Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton 2016) ****
Home Fire – Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury Circus 2017) *****
Days Without End – Sebastian Barry (Faber & Faber 2017) ****
The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead (Fleet 2016) *****
History Of Wolves – Emily Fridlund (Wiedenfeld & Nicolson 2017) ***
With two excellent five star reads discovered I was confident that I had maybe even read the eventual winner. But good old Booker, unpredictable as ever. The Whitehead and Shamsie books have failed to make the shortlist. Of the six I have read only two have made the cut and one of those is the only one I rated as three star. In case you missed out here is the shortlist.
Autumn- Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton 2016) – I described this as “it will repay re-reading” and “it is certainly shortlist-worthy)
History Of Wolves – Emily Fridlund (Wiedenfeld & Nicolson 2017) – I said “it never fully realised the potential I thought it had in the first few chapters.”
4321- Paul Auster (Faber & Faber 2017) – Yes, thanks for this Man Booker judges. I got this from the library where I found it taking up a good chunk of shelf space. It’s 866 pages of large hardback which probably explains why it hadn’t been borrowed much. I’ve been saving it until the shortlist announcement, secretly hoping that it might not make it and then I would return it unread. Now I’m going to have to go for it. Hope it’s worth it. It’s presence on the shortlist means that readers will now start requesting it so I better crack on with it asap. Paul Auster is the only one of the four authors who I have read books by before.
Elmet – Fiona Mozley (JM Originals 2017) – A debut novel from a British author. I originally thought it odd that someone would write about those large cans of hairspray you see in hairdressers, but apparently that’s Elnet. I bought this yesterday from Waterstones and I will be reading it if there is anytime left after I’ve finished 4321.
Lincoln In The Bardo – George Saunders (Bloomsbury Publishing 2017)- American author. This is currently not yet available as a paperback. I bought a Kindle copy as it is much cheaper. (£4.99 on Amazon yesterday). According to Ladbrokes this seems to be the early favourite.
Exit West – Moshin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton 2017) – I saw this at Waterstones (they actually had signed copies in the branch I was in) but thought I’d hold out on this for a bit until I’ve cleared the backlog of reading, which probably means that this will be the winner!
Many congratulations to the six authors that have made the shortlist. I hope the four I haven’t read are outstanding as they have taken the places of sure-fire contenders Colson Whitehead and Kamila Shamsie. It’s very unusual for me to back the actual winner but I’m certainly going to get reading in order to voice my opinion.