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Booker list, anyone?

(21 Posts)
UnquietDad Wed 08-Aug-07 14:03:09

Catherine O'Flynn's looks the most interesting from the write-up.

The thought of the AN Wilson makes my heart sink, as do all the others set in the 1940s. (I've always struggled with war books - "Atonement" is my least favourite McEwan.)

Lots of them are so young though. Nikita Lalwani is only 33. I read recently that the average age of New York Times bestseller list writers is 54. That seems a bit more realistic. Most novelists produce their best stuff in their 50s and 60s, surely? You have a lot of tricksy show-offy stuff to grow out of at 33.

Kiran Desai's book, which won last year, may be a masterpiece for all I know, but I'm not going to read it because she seems such a giggling girlie in public.

normabutty Wed 08-Aug-07 14:12:07

I almost bought the Nikita Lalwani one at the weekend. The Michael Redhill one looks my sort of book too. I never get chance to read them though , have loads of books sitting waiting to be read!

UnquietDad Wed 08-Aug-07 14:32:49

I'm all the more taken with the Catherine O'Flynn one because she looks like a normal woman in the photo I've seen of her (rather than some pouting lissom megababe who looks as if she only got a publishing deal by giving the editor a blow-job).

Michael Redhill does look interesting too. A lot of big names have been shunted out this year for people who would previously have eben called mid-listers. Good thing.

normabutty Wed 08-Aug-07 14:48:22

Actually the reviews on here of the Catherine O'Flynn one are much more appealing than the brief review I read on the BBC Booker List.

normabutty Wed 08-Aug-07 14:49:04

Pmsl @ the megababe comment

HollyGoHeavily Wed 08-Aug-07 14:52:30

yes, because the only way an attractive woman could get a publishing deal is if she gave someone a blow-job ....

UnquietDad Wed 08-Aug-07 15:00:29

Somtimes my humour misfires on here... But beneath that seemingly-misogynist comment is a serious point, i.e. that publishers are obsessed with the author's looks, "marketability" and charisma, often almost at the expense of what they actually write.

And it's no secret that a heavily "marketable" writer can often have vast swathes of their book rewritten by an editor - often an editor with whom they may get very "friendly"...

normabutty Wed 08-Aug-07 15:20:50

well I found it funny, perhaps I lower the tone of MN!

I think I'm drawn to the Lalwani book as I feel I was pushed quite a lot to succeed academically and thought I'd probably empathise a lot with her.

normabutty Wed 08-Aug-07 15:52:58

Don't mean to suggest that you lowered the tone though UD!

UnquietDad Wed 08-Aug-07 17:25:33

That's OK. I often do...

normabutty Wed 08-Aug-07 17:27:34

Ah well that's ok then . Have you read any of the nominated books then?

UnquietDad Wed 08-Aug-07 17:28:55

I'm still catching up with my backlog from the previous 6 months....

policywonk Wed 08-Aug-07 17:29:13

IME, publishing editors at big fiction houses are busy shagging the editorial assistants/interns/postroom boys. Successful authors wouldn't touch an editor with a bargepole, darling.

(Nothing more intelligent to contribute, sadly...)

normabutty Wed 08-Aug-07 17:31:01

You think that's bad I still haven't read the book dh got me for xmas 3 years ago!

UnquietDad Wed 08-Aug-07 21:13:13

Successful authors wouldn't, no... But that's afterwards!!

satyricon Thu 09-Aug-07 15:02:11

Dad, I think you're being extremely harsh on youthful writers. And there's a lot to be said for linguistic trickery and fireworks... don't you ever feel that desperate urge that a writer has to please you, the reader? Because I've always felt that the more successful a writer becomes, the more that urge to please fades.

Remember, the Pickwick Papers was published when Dickens was 27. Zadie Smith? Dave Eggers? And so on...

Back to the subject. I used to work with Indra Sinha back when i worked in advertising. He seems to be the only guy on the list that no one, anywhere, is talking about. I haven't read the book but I remember the man. Fearsomely, fearsomely smart chap. I'm thinking of giving it a go.

UnquietDad Thu 09-Aug-07 15:05:55

Trust me, mentioning Dave Eggers and Zadie Smith is not the way to get me on side!

Honestly, though, they are very much the exception. Hardly anyone writes anything worth publishing before they are 30. Even 35, at a pinch.

Yes, Indra Sinha's book does look quite interesting.

Kathyis6incheshigh Thu 09-Aug-07 15:25:45

"Honestly, though, they are very much the exception. Hardly anyone writes anything worth publishing before they are 30. Even 35, at a pinch. "


[Kathy cancels Amazon order for earlier works of writer whose recent novel she enjoyed]

UnquietDad Thu 09-Aug-07 15:43:55

Oh yes, i include myself in that!
easy to say, though.......

sleepfinder Thu 09-Aug-07 18:42:39

have to say UnquietDad I agree with what you say about publishing deals for marketable "yoof"

but have you read any Gwendolyn Riley (fist book written at the ripe old age of 22)

of course she had nothing original to say but her talent was clear from the off in terms of prose writing.

Now she's nearly 30 and has written her 3rd I think she might be worth revisiting, from a readers point of view...

UnquietDad Thu 09-Aug-07 21:05:12

You're not the first person to recommend her to me. Usually it takes two and and I'm there! So I'll check her out.

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