Friday, September 15, 2006

The 2006 Booker short list

...is out. And for a change I find myself agreeing with it. I've only read about half the books on the longlist, but all the ones I would have picked actually did make it to the shortlist. (Well, okay, so I would probably have picked the Gordimer over the Desai, but it does seem a little redundant to be giving a Nobel Laureate the Booker.) More, all the books I was relatively unimpressed by - the Carey, the Mitchell, the Lasdun - all didn't make it.

Of the shortlist, the only book I haven't read is the Matar (I'm two thirds of the way through the Hyland - review on Momus soon). Of the rest, my pick for the prize would be the St. Aubyn, though I'd be perfectly content if either Grenville or Waters were to win.

Personally, though, I find the real value of the prize is in the longlist, which every year provides an introduction to books and writers I'd never read before and probably would never have come across otherwise. Last year's finds included Ali Smith and James Meek's People's Act of Love. This year, St. Aubyn has already made it to my list of authors to read more of, and I hear good things about the Claire Messud and the Jon McGregor. *rubs hands in glee*

Oh, wait! I'm not supposed to be reading prose this month.

Update: My review of Hyland's Carry Me Down here.

5 comments:

Space Bar said...

was hoping you'd have read the jon mcgregor. sigh....

neoe said...

You really liked Sarah Waters? I thought Fingersmith was abysmal - Dickens meets Gothic erotica.

But you're right about the treasures on the long list. Maps for Lost Lovers was probably one of the best books I read last year.

Falstaff said...

space bar: Sorry - it hasn't shown up in my library yet. I will when it comes in.

neoe: I can't really speak for Fingersmith - Night Watch being the only Waters book I've ever read. I thought Night Watch was exceedingly good though.

Swathi said...

i have seen the long list and just when i was wondering if u spend a bomb on buying books ,i got my answer. ah, wish I was near a library....

Aditi said...

You're right about the Carey. I read the synopsis about art intrigue and was hoping for something along the lines of Headlong. But Theft was very disappointing.Tsk.