So, today they published the Shortlist: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/news/2012-shortlist-announced
And even though I knew full well that there was no hope I would get through the whole list before the shortlist came out, I am still a little disappointed that it feels like a decision has already been made for me, somewhat.
Luckily, I think the judges are wrong.
The judges claim that their decision was about “the pure power of prose” and the “vigour and vividly defined values” of the novels they selected. To me, it feels more like they were trying a little too hard (even these quotes sound like they were trying a little too hard)…. to be inclusive, or alternative, or challenging. Some of the more engaging, but gentler, books were junked in favour of books on big, controversial themes. I am surprised The Yips didn’t make this shortlist, looking at how it has been out together.
To date I have read 9 (well, almost…) of the Longlisted books. So that would mean, the statistical likelihood would be, that I would have read 5/6 of my final shortlist….
But having put some thought into it, there are only three that stand out from the crowd for me.
The Garden of Evening Mists
My favourite: engaging storyline, beautifully written, fascinating protaganist – almost faultless
The Teleportation Accident
After some initial doubt, it kind of stuck with me – quirky, interest, untried, big themes – can’t believe Swimming Home and Narcopolis (two of the most self-absorbed books I have read in a while) were shortlisted instead of this.
Bring up the Bodies
An unexpected delight – quality characterisation, provokes thinking, revolutionises ‘historical literature’.
Although I am sad that the shortlisters beat me to it, it has been lovely to sit back and think about my project so far. Six weeks and nine books in, the end is in sight. I think I have the book blogging habit though now and alongside my lifelong project habit, I get the feeling this may not be the last you see of my reading adventures….