Friday, October 2, 2009

Not the Booker Prize

NOT THE BOOKER PRIZE (see this post), an alternative to the Booker Prize, created by Sam Jordison, a blogger of The Guardian. Since the process of finding the six books for the shortlist was simply by leaving a comment on the blog with the title of the book, some books arrived on the shortlist by strange means. The winner will be announced in a few days, together with the Booker Prize. The shortlisted titles are:

Rana Dasgupta – Solo (review and extract)
Solo recounts the life and daydreams of a reclusive one hundred year-old man from Bulgaria.

James Palumbo – Tomas (review and extract)
Tomas tears apart the world of the rich on his crusade against everything that's wrong with the 21st Century, including fat bankers and reality TV.

Eleanor Thom – The Tin Kin (review and extract)
When her aunt Shirley dies, Dawn finds herself back in her claustrophobic home town in Northern Scotland for the first time in years. She spends her days caring for her small daughter, listening to tapes of old country songs and cleaning Shirley s flat, until one day she comes across the key to a cupboard that she was forbidden to open as a child. Inside she finds an album of photographs, curling with age.

Simon Crump – Neverland: the unreal Michael Jackson story (review and extract)
This is a collection of interlinked short stories, interwoven against the constant presence of a certain Mr Michael Jackson. Is it the Jackson that you automatically think of? That's clearly for you to decide.

MJ Hyland – This is how (review and extract)
When his fiancé breaks off their engagement, Patrick Oxtoby leaves home and moves into a boarding house in a remote seaside town. But in spite of his hopes and determination to build a better life, nothing goes to plan and Patrick is soon driven to take a desperate and chilling course of action.

Jenn Ashworth – A Kind of Intimacy (review and extract)
Annie is morbidly obese, lonely and hopeful. She narrates her own increasingly bizarre attempts to ingratiate herself with her new neighbours, learn from past mistakes and achieve a "certain kind of intimacy" with the boy next door.

By the way...

Recently I learned from the comments that I'm not the only person who hardly buys any hardback novel. Read this article from The Times Online, about the 50 paperbacks of 2009. What is most interesting is not the list of paperbacks, but the history of this format (by Nicholas Clee).

Here's an interesting article on the similarities between Truman Capote’s Holly Golightly (main character of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, become famous for the interpretation by Audrey Hepburn, read my review) and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jay Gatsby (unforgettable protagonist of The Great Gatsby, read my review): Is Holly Golightly The Great Gatsby in Drag? In fact, in my mind the two novels are somehow interweaved, maybe because I read them at a short distance of time one from the other.

For lovers of India, the new book by William Dalrymple: Nine Lives: in Search of the Sacred in Modern India (read here).

in the picture: La Lecture (Woman Reading) by Pablo Picasso


  1. Hmmm...never heard of any of these books. I also don't buy hardcovers. I read my novels in cars, in queues and at lunch time at work, hence I cannot carry that huge hardcover book with me. Seen Dan Brown's Lost Symbol? It is as big as a laptop. Wouldn't have a place to keep it in my bag nor in my shelf. I love my paperbacks.

  2. I had never heard of this novels myself, but apparently they are this year's favourites by English people... From the plots they don't look anything special, but I know Rana Dasgupta is a good journalist, so maybe he's also a good fiction writer... I like to know what readers and critics thik is the best novel of the year, so I follow the Booker Prize and other prizes connected to it.