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Booker Prize shortlist announced

(39 Posts)
elkiedee Wed 09-Sep-09 00:09:57

The titles are:

The Children's Book by A S Byatt (Random House, Chatto and Windus)

Summertime by J M Coetzee (Random House, Harvill Secker)

The Quickening Maze by Adam Fould (Random House, Jonathan Cape)

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (HarperCollins, Fourth Estate)

The Glass Room by Simon Mawer (Little, Brown)

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (Little, Brown, Virago)

Have you read any of them, do you want to, do you have any opinions on them or on books that have been left off the shortlist from the longlist? Who would you like to see win, and why?

elkiedee Wed 09-Sep-09 00:12:08

I'm currently reading The Little Stranger, and have read several previous books by AS Byatt, might seek out this one at some point, and I don't know anything about the others or the longlist. I used to be better informed and better read but read much more slowly than I used to at the moment.

FlyingMonkey Wed 09-Sep-09 09:17:22

I have The Little Stranger and Wolf Hall on order from the library. I didn't really enjoy the last Hilary Mantel book I read (Beyond Black) but I think that was more to do with the content rather than her writing style. I've loved all of the Sarah Waters books I've read and likewise with A S Byatt.
Coetzee doesn't really appeal to me and I've never heard of Adam Fould or Simon Mawer.

therealbanksy Wed 09-Sep-09 09:28:52

I'm already 100 pages into Wolf Hall and I'm absolutely gripped. Fantastic style.

TheWorstWitch Wed 09-Sep-09 17:40:26

I'm intrigued by The Little Stranger and Wolf Hall, so like FlyingMonkey will order from library.
The Coetzee seems a bit odd - is it a biography?

vacaloca Wed 09-Sep-09 17:44:17

I finished The Little Stranger a couple of weeks ago. I really enjoyed it - really liked the style.

I haven't read any of the others.

And while we're at it. I just finished Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. It's her first nove and I loved it. It's probably the fastest I've read any book. Stayed up until really late a couple of nights to finish it.

hollytom Wed 09-Sep-09 18:29:22

therealbanksy: Read Wolf Hall enjoyed it but found the fact that it was written in present tense third and used a lot of 'he said' very irritating. I thought it was confusing as to who it was at times but otherwise did enjoy it.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 09-Sep-09 18:30:28

I will read them all, I always read them all. Not that impressed with the other Sarah Waters I read before, am not sure I've read anything by any of the others.

But I always end up adoring at least one of them, so it's worth it to read them all.

TheWorstWitch Wed 09-Sep-09 18:51:54

NQC - will you read them all before they announce winner?

Pielight Wed 09-Sep-09 18:56:06

Oh I think it's a good list this year. I'm looking forward to the Coetzee (because he's so v. good) and Wolf Hall in particular. Also the Adam Foulds, which sounds v. interesting and I love the title without even understanding it grin

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 09-Sep-09 18:58:05

I am very disappointed that William Trevor's book was left off the shortlist. I think he is a hugely under rated writer and I am not sure why. Colm Toibin is also a favourite of mine, so I shall putting them both on my next Amazon order
Of the shortlist, the only one I am looking forward to reading is Wolf Hall.

Pielight Wed 09-Sep-09 19:02:02

Yes I love William Trevor too Lady P. Is he under-rated? I think he's v. well respected. Also agree about Brooklyn

nickytwotimes Wed 09-Sep-09 19:05:14

I thought The Little Stranger would be fantastic, but it left me cold.
Haven't read any of the others. blush

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 09-Sep-09 19:08:38

Pielight - I think he is a reader's writer IYKWIM. He has his loyal followers like you and me, but he doesn't have the public profile of a lot of IMO inferior writers.
Which do you like best, his novels or short stories?

Pielight Wed 09-Sep-09 19:14:21

Both. He's one of those writers that I feel like I've been reading for years. Fairly constantly - though obviously surrounded by thousands of others. I remember reading The Boarding House when I was about 18 or something! I like Reading Tugenev v. v. much, it might well be one of my favourite ever books actually.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 09-Sep-09 22:14:22

I don't know if you heard John Tusa interview him on Radio 3, but there's a transcript [[ here]. It's great stuff.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 09-Sep-09 22:15:08

Arggh, tryagain.

UnquietDad Wed 09-Sep-09 22:16:42

I've got the A S Byatt. It's sitting on my shelf glaring at me. I want to start it but have been told there's a large cast of characters which makes it hard going at first.

janeite Wed 09-Sep-09 22:19:57

I haven't read any of them but I read another one by Hilary Mantel and thought it was talentless tripe.

fishie Wed 09-Sep-09 22:26:07

i have wolf hall and childrens book in a gigantic pile of unread library books and i bet you have all ordered them so better get on.

haven't read as byatt since that last prizewinner and fludd by h mantel which was a slog. i like sarah w usually apart from gimmickery.

paisleyleaf Wed 09-Sep-09 22:31:56

I enjoyed 'Disgrace' by J M Coetzee
(I also like William Trevor - I didn't know he had a new book)

elkiedee Wed 09-Sep-09 22:33:14

I finished reading The Little Stranger this morning - not my favourite of her novels though good, but I haven't read any of the other books on either the shortlist or longlist to compare it with. I'd quite like to see her win the Booker, but am in no position to make any judgement of which of these particular books should do so.

treepose Wed 09-Sep-09 22:40:04

Of those I've read Wolf Hall, the Children's Book and the Little Stranger.

The Children's Book has tons of information, some very good setpieces (like the international exhibition) but ultimately felt too dry, as if you were listening to a historian describe the period. Characters were introduced and then just wrapped up suddenly in the end, probably because if the book went on for any longer it would have needed two volumes! I usually read fast but I found it a struggle to get to the end of this.

The Little Stranger is a book I would like to read again and also discuss in a book group, it raises some questions which I'd like to talk more about! It's a good depiction of the post-war period and also has the beginnings of the NHS in it which is interesting from the medical point of view. There are some scary bits in it, still not as scary as Stephen King at his best, but quite good!

I loved Wolf Hall. The only drawback to it is that, knowing what happens after the events of the book, I want more of the story. This is a novel which, unlike The Children's Book, made the characters seem real and alive, and with them being a part of history it gives an insight as to how things could have turned out the way they did. A vivid, vibrant book.

I haven't read the others yet!

ZephirineDrouhin Wed 09-Sep-09 22:51:09

Bloody love Hilary Mantel (but haven't read Wolf Hall yet). Hope she wins.

UnquietDad Wed 09-Sep-09 23:08:12

On previous form, I've enjoyed a couple of Hilary Mantel's novels and Byatt's "Possession" was OK.

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