Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Yup, it's that time of the year again. The Booker Prize Longlist is out, and as usual I've only read two of the thirteen books on it. Well, two and a half.

Of those I have read, my pick would be Netherland (see post about it here) which I really liked and would not be disappointed to see win. I also quite enjoyed The Enchantress of Florence, which felt like Magic Realism without the Realism, or in other words, an out and out fable gloriously told by one of the most silvertongued writers of our age, though not, on the whole, a meaty enough novel for me to want to read again.

The only other novel on the list I've read (or more accurately tried to read) is Aravind Adiga's White Tiger, which was so awfully synthetic that I gave up on it some 100 pages in.

Of course, the real joy of the Booker Longlist is reading the books you've never heard of before (and probably wouldn't have heard of at all, but for the list), which are invariably the best of the lot. That said, I think I'm unlikely to come close to reading the whole of the list this year (too much else to read / get done) though I'm hoping to get my hand on the Barry soon, and maybe a couple of the others.

Sigh. So many books, so little time.


blatherina said...

"the enchantress" begins spectacularly but loses steam midway, i thought. too many cross-narratives and backstories, which i normally enjoy, but they begin to feel forced in this one.
was surprised to hear a negative review of "white tiger." it got some good reviews, though i have my doubts about the framing device... i do plan to buy and read it, though.

Falstaff said...

blatherina: I agree that Enchantress loses steam, I'd say it goes from being spectacular to being just good.

As for White Tiger - I can only point you to Chandrahas' review on Middle Stage, which says pretty much everything I had to say about the book (and he actually read it all the way through). all the characters felt too much like they'd been cut out of styrofoam.