Monday, April 7, 2008

What are your thoughts?

The Man Booker prize is celebrating its 40th anniversary by awarding The Best of the Booker to the best overall novel to have won the prize since it was first awarded in 1969. The public will get to give its input on a six-novel shortlist, when it is announced in May.

Here is the archive of books that won.

Here are the books I've enjoyed from that list:
2004 winner The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
2002 winner Life of Pi by Yann Martel
1993 winner Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
1978 winnder The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch

Here are the books I did NOT enjoy from that list:
2006 winner The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (never finished)
2000 winner The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (never finished)
1999 winner Disgrace by JM Coetzee (never finished)
1996 winner Last Orders by Graham Swift

My thoughts - when they're good, they're good, and when they're bad, they are very, very bad.

What are your thoughts?


Jen said...

I have not read that many others, but here are my thoughts on ones Babs has NOT read:

Possession by A.S. Byatt -- tough to get into and very verbose but ultimately a very good read

The God of Small things by Arundhati Roy -- not worth the time

For the ones Babs has already given her review of, I would second her approval of Life of Pi (wholeheartedly -- We talked about this at the last meeting -- I hated this book until the last 30 pages or so but those pages really changed my mind completely) and Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (although less enthusiastically)

I would disagree with her opinion of The Blind Assassin -- I thought this was a very unique book and felt it would be a good book club selection as there were several viewpoints and I think people could walk away from this book with different impressions and lessons (like Babs and I have!!)

I would also disagree about Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee -- I thought this was so simply written but a very powerful story nonetheless. I did not identify with the characters on a personal level, but was intrigued that people would react to the events in this way.

Mary said...

I've only read a few:

The Inheritance of Loss
Life of Pi
Blind Assassin
God of Small Things
The English Patient
The Remains of the Day

Honestly, Life of Pi is the only one that I remember very much about. The others were things I enjoyed at the time, but didn't stay with me very well. . . which I think says something. . .