So today the Man Book Prize longlist for 2011 has been announced, and I have read the total of one books from it! I still thought an overview was in order though.
In no particular order
The Sense of an Ending- Julian Barnes
This book is not yet released, so I haven’t read it.
Looking at the Synopsis this sounds like a book about memories of the past essentially. The main character find out something about his past that he does not remember. It’s is about him coming to terms with his past, what he remembers and what he does not. Would I read it? Well I can’t see myself having looked at it if it wasn’t on the longlist but it does sound fairly interesting.
Arthur and George also by Julian Barnes has been on my To be Read pile for quite a long time after my Mum recommended it but I don’t know if I really want to read it. Julian Barnes is a very popular author, so I can see this one being popular with the public.
On Canaan’s Side- Sebastian Barry
Another not yet published.
This sounds like what you would expect from Sebastian Barry, the tale of somebody’s life. This time it’s about an Irish woman who emigrated to America. It’s about herself in relation to others and events (including the first world war). Sounds like it could be a good read.
On Canaan’s Side is a biblical reference which refers to The Promised Land. I see it as a reference to death so possibly the narrator is nearing death when the book takes place.
I’ve read a couple of Sebastian Barry’s before. I really liked The Secret Scripture but wasn’t so impressed with The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty. Barry has been popular in the past and I can see this one doing well too.
Jamrach’s Menagerie- Carol Birch
The synopsis of this one confused me a little, apparently it starts off with the main character being saved from being eaten by an escaped circus tiger, and somehow he ends up on the boat of his rescuer…The cover makes it look like a horror book. I am intrigued in the sense that I want to see what it’s about but I probably wouldn’t buy it.
The Sisters Brothers- Patrick deWitt
This one is about two contract killers who travel to America to fulfil a contract. Lots of strange and violent things happen on the way, then they meet the man they have to kill to find he has invented a magical formula which will make them rich. From there on out things only get stranger.
I like the sounds of this one will at least add it to my wishlist.
Half Blood Blues- Esi Edugyan
Set in Berlin, when Sid returns to Berlin years after his black band mate had disappeared he is given a letter about the past. But whose past is true?
I like the sound of it, half history half mystery, I would like to read it.
Oooh and just as I was typing this I have won a copy. Much excitement!
A Cupboard Full of Coats– Yvvette Edwards
Jinx and Lemon both have their own stories of what happened when Jinx’s mother was stabbed 14 years ago. Now it is time for those stories to come to light. A story of guilt, confession and betrayal.
This one sounds really interesting, another one I would like to read.
The Stranger’s Child- Alan Hollinghurst
This one confuses me a little too. Sounds like it’s a story of English gentry. Meh
Pigeon English– Stephen Kelman
The only one I’ve read! Pigeon English is about Harri, a boy who as emigrated to England and about his life on a British council estate. While living there a boy is murdered and Harri decides he will find the killer.
When I read this book I wasn’t especially impressed. It was enjoyable enough but nothing special, and I found Harri’s voice annoying. It was pretty authentic though and I can see why reviewers like it.
The Last Hundred Days- Patrick McGuinness
This one is about the collapse of a socialist state and all the nasty things that it entails. Could be interesting but I’m not really convinced.
I recognise the name Patrick McGuinness but not any of his titles. Maybe I am thinking of the comedian Paddy McGuinness….
Snowdrops– A.D. Miller
Set in Moscow Snowdrops tells the tale of a man who is corrupted by a corrupted society, and his battles with morals and seduction. Snowdrops sounds like it may have potential but I don’t feel the synopsis gives me enough information to really know if I would want to read it.
Far to Go– Alison Pick
Oooh this one sounds just like my type of book. When a family of Jews try to flee Nazi Germany they are reported by their nanny, but Pepik, the child of the family gets a spot on the Kindertransport. This is his tale.
Not the most original of stories though, so it will have to be very good to win I think.
The Testament of Jessie Lamb– Jane Rogers
This is the story of a normal girl who tries to save the world from biological terrorism. Sounds a little childish (and possibly overdone) but could be very good.
Derby Day– D.J. Taylor
One of those books that follows various characters all who are connected via one thing. In this case a horse running the Derby. I tend to enjoy these types of books, but it is difficult not to make them confusing.
I hope I’ll get to read at least a few before the short list is announced
Past Man Booker Prize Winners I have enjoyed are:
The Life of Pi
The Ghost Road