Monday, October 09, 2006

Booker Prize 2006: My picks

With the Booker Prize due to be announced in a few hours, I figured I would post my ranking of the shortlist (and also gloat about the fact that I'd managed to read all 6 of them before the prize came out).

Here then are my rankings (links lead to my reviews):

1. Edward St. Aubyn's Mother's Milk

2. Kate Grenville's The Secret River

3. Sarah Waters' The Night Watch

4. M. J. Hyland's Carry Me Down

5. Kiran Desai's Inheritance of Loss

6. Hisham Matar's In the Country of Men


Anonymous said...

saddening to see kiran's book so low in the list.

Anonymous said...

Writer Kiran Desai wins Man Booker Prize

Cheshire Cat said...

This should effectively destroy any cachet the Booker still has...

Falstaff said...

nandhu: Ya, well - that's what it is, in my view.

anon: Thanks

cat: I don't know. I mean sure, they made the wrong choice, but that's usual isn't it. A history of poor choices for winners hasn't made the Booker fade away into obscurity - The Sea, Vernon God Little, Line of Beauty, God of Small Things. I think the last Booker winner I read that I actually felt deserved a prize was probably Disgrace.

As I've said before, I do think the prize is most valuable for its longlist - because it's a great way to get to know about writers you wouldn't have heard of / read otherwise. The actual winner means little. As Desai's victory clearly shows.

km said...

To pick the finalist, they should decide based on the writer's typing speed or cholesterol count or something.

Just what the hell does a "winner" mean in this context, anyway.

Cheshire Cat said...

In the last few years, there has been a deliberate campaign to dumb down the Booker, especially when the execrable Lisa Jardine headed the panel of judges. It's a good bet that the longlist itself is skewed towards the young, the complacent, the market-friendly...

Falstaff said...

km: I think they do.

cat: Yes. Though I think with 17 books at least some good ones are bound to sneak through. I would never have heard of James Meek or Jon McGregor if it weren't for that longlist, so I don't want to be too ungrateful.