Monday, October 13, 2008

A Minute with the Booker Shortlisters

If you’re wondering (as I am) whether to read any of the six books on this year’s Man Booker Prize shortlist, check out Just a Minute With: The Six Booker Prize Nominees over at Reuters. Each shortlisted author gives brief answers to two questions: (1) Can you describe your book and why should people read it? And (2) What does the Man Booker Prize mean to you?

To me, the description of Philip Hensher’s The Northern Clemency is the most compelling. Hensher writes, “It is a book, ultimately, about the complexity of happiness.” I’ve never agreed with Tolstoy’s proclamation about the sameness of happiness, and I find Hensher’s description intriguing.


Sandra said...

A very interesting article. I plan to read all six-eventually.

Anna van Gelderen said...

I have no idea who is going to win tonight (too bad the BBC doesn't broadcast the award ceremony anymore), but from the reviews I have read Hensher's novel seems to be rather plodding (and it's very long) and the Tolz novel seems over the top and exhausting (and is also very long). So I don't think I am going to read those.
I read two previous novels by Ghosh, The Glass Palace (good) and The Hungry Tide (very good), so I am certainly going to try Sea of Poppies.
The Secret Scripture and The Clothes on their Backs both have intriguing premises and are on my wishlist.
The White Tiger does not tempt me for some reason.

Gwen Dawson said...

All in all, I think this list is significantly less tempting than last year's short list.