Author Topic: Booker 2018  (Read 3489 times)

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2018, 10:09:48 PM »
I've just finished the first section and since the first page I haven't been able to stop thinking about/ comparing it to the film Dogtooth. I might well be barking up the wrong tree though.

I'm doing Milkman next and then just have OM&FC, the Sally Rooney one and that one in verse left (I think).

Without giving anything away, the opening section brought exactly Dogtooth to mind for me as well. I love that setup.

I think I've stacked this well, as I'm suddenly finding favourite after favourite at the back end of my list. I started In Our Mad and Furious City yesterday, thinking I could take my time, giving myself til the release of Normal People on the 28th to finish it - then found myself at 1am well over two-thirds done I was so gripped, and I finished today. Electric, vital, angry, warm book. Argh.

Wondering if I can get through Washington Black by the 28th.

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2018, 08:11:04 PM »
Went into Waterstones and Normal People was out so I guess I'm reading that next.

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #32 on: August 26, 2018, 01:45:02 PM »
Ha! I just went in to the Manchester branch and it wasn't. I've got them all except for that and Snap, and the latter is in paperback now so might give it a go. So looking forward to being able to choose what I read. Started Milkman today. What a lot of commas!

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2018, 11:27:44 AM »
Oh god, I feel claustrophobic just thinking about it.

I would be interested to see your thoughts on Snap, but I'm still just a bit baffled, it's like James Patterson popping up on the list.

Finished Normal People. I've not felt so affected by the relationship between two characters since reading books as a child. Breathless at some of the emotional turns. I got a bit wary as it leaned more into the world of academia as that feels like such a tapped well, but there was still so much heart and wit. Lovely stuff.

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2018, 09:39:14 AM »
Oof, Milkman is hard going, isn't it? I'm only 35 pages in to it and already have no desire to read any more. Did you find that you just got used to it or does it become a little less discombobulating?

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2018, 11:06:05 PM »
I'm on the verge of giving up on this. I'm coming down with a cold and just want to enjoy a book but instead am faced with another 250 pages of commas and people being called brother in law 2.

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #36 on: August 30, 2018, 06:23:37 PM »
I did consider giving up. It was a bit of a push to keep going. Without giving anything away, it's pretty consistent in both pace and sentence structure, I'm not sure there's ever a point in it where things finally hit their stride, it's meandering all the way through.

It makes Washington Black seem even more breakneck, doesn't it? I see what you mean about that novel seeming a bit clichèd and young-adulty at points, but I found it really charming. It was kind of what I'd hoped The Underground Railroad would be like. Definitely a bit odd how Wash is entirely helped by civilising old white men though.

So onto my last one with The Overstory. I'm going to take my time with it - some on the list I've really dashed through, not properly taking the writing in, and I'm enjoying the language already.

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2018, 12:35:24 PM »
I finished In Our Mad & Furious City last night and really enjoyed parts although large parts just made me cringe. The section about the black guy coming over in the '50s was my favourite, followed by the part about the Irish woman. The thing that led to her being sent to England was genuinely horrific and I'd have preferred to read much more about those 2 rather than Skins style sex scene and desperate attempts to sound hip.

From A Low And Quiet Sea > The Overstory > The Water Cure > The Mars Room > IOM&FC > Warlight > Washington Black > Sabrina > Everything Under

Hobo, when's your next blog post up?


BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2018, 07:33:39 PM »
Done! Fuck me that was marvellous. It almost lost me for a moment in the middle but immediately grasped me again. What depth in such grand sweeps. Some irony though in that this awe for trees and heartbreak for their murder is contained in a big fucking book full of pages. And if it wins, so many more copies will be pumped out.

I finished In Our Mad & Furious City last night and really enjoyed parts although large parts just made me cringe. The section about the black guy coming over in the '50s was my favourite, followed by the part about the Irish woman. The thing that led to her being sent to England was genuinely horrific and I'd have preferred to read much more about those 2 rather than Skins style sex scene and desperate attempts to sound hip.

From A Low And Quiet Sea > The Overstory > The Water Cure > The Mars Room > IOM&FC > Warlight > Washington Black > Sabrina > Everything Under

Hobo, when's your next blog post up?

I see what you mean, though I really liked getting a thorough exploration of vulnerwble teenage boy life. It's not something you seem to see often in literary fiction, in my experience at least. Teenage years are usually just there to add some weight before the protagonist's adult years. It was nice to see naked vulnerability, hopes and dreams, affection, behind the dick-swinging exterior.

Next blog post should be Monday, I'm aiming to do double-reviews every other week. Hopefully I'll get some more enthusiasm now I'm onto the books I've really enjoyed.

Do you reckon you'll give Snap a go?

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2018, 07:56:42 PM »
I'm not sure I'll have chance. I've nearly finished the Sally Rooney one (which I am enjoying so much, it's definitely in my top 3) then have Snap, The Long Take and Milkman (maybe) to get through. I'll try but I've got so many books I want to read and it's frustrating having to read some genre nonsense. But, yeah, I'll do my best. Just under 2 weeks until the shortlist, isn't it?

buttgammon

  • You can't trust a man what's made of gas
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #40 on: September 09, 2018, 12:51:51 AM »
I'm reading Normal People and really enjoying it. The fact that it is largely set in my college has made it a strangely uncomfortable read at times, but it's all good as far as I'm concerned.

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2018, 09:25:10 AM »
I finished it yesterday and, yep, it was ace. Not too sure about all they hype though. If I see another mention of her being hailed as  ‘Salinger for the Snapchat generation', I'll mutter or tut or something. There have been so many articles about the book, including this extremely irritating piece from the Guardian. I also read that there's a BBC3 adaptation on the way.

Regarding the Booker, I also read that only Warlight and Sabrina have sold over 10,000 copies and those 2 account for half the sales of the entire list. I was surprised by that. For some reason I'd presumed that Washington Black would have sold many copies, certainly more than Sabrina. I guess sales might pick up more when the shortlist is announced.

Only got 3 more to read and can't really be bothered with any of them. Going to give Milkman another try next.

From A Low And Quiet Sea > Normal People > The Overstory > The Water Cure > The Mars Room > IOM&FC > Warlight > Washington Black > Sabrina > Everything Under

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2018, 11:36:01 AM »
Tsk. I've sacked off Milkman AND that one written mainly in verse. Just couldn't enjoy either and even though it was tempting to slog my way through just so I could say I'd read them all this year, I've got better things to do/ read and this was becoming a bit like one of those gutbuster challenges but without a certificate at the end. But, having said that, I just found a really cheap copy of Snap (must be the only longlisted book ever to be on sale in Asda for £3.50), so will start that on the train ride home. Then, I'm free!

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2018, 11:39:24 AM »
Regarding Normal People, did anyone else feel there was a lingering sense that it would end with Callum dying? Maybe it was the (very) superficial resemblance to that One Day, or maybe the 2 or 3 mentions of him bleeding or him feeling faint but I was sure he'd be a goner by the final page.

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2018, 04:28:41 PM »
Ha ha! Snap is so fucking bad. DCI John Marvel, for fucks sake.

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2018, 08:11:11 PM »
Yeah, I'm glad I led with the books I did, otherwise I would have sacked the list off halfway through. I left by far the best ones til last, thank god. I mean, Snap. John Marvel is the one who talks in his own introduction about not playing by the rules, and getting results, right? Man.

I didn't think anyone would die, but I'm pleased I wasn't alone in getting One Day vibes. It scared me a bit because I fucking hated One Day, two unbearable, miserable pricks whose charmless relationship we're inexplicably supposed to root for. And I'm less and less interested in literary novels about brilliant people suffering ennui at renowned universities. Just totally tired of fiction about academics. But it did stick the landing.

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2018, 08:32:10 PM »
I'd inadvertently (obviously mis)read a review that mentioned 'the heartbreaking ending', so when Callum was in the shower after sex and noticed blood on his lip, it made me wonder. Then later on he has some weird fit thing so I thought that he'd succumb to something. I'm glad he didn't. I definitely think it will be on the shortlist, along with FAL&QS and The Overstory. I'd put The Water Cure on there too and, despite me not actually reading it, Milkman. At least it's trying to do something different, even if it did my head in. The Mars Rooms was a great read although it didn't really stand out as special. I guess I always thought of the Booker as something of quality whereas, this year at least, it's more akin to something like the Mercury Music Prize where you get dull tosh like Elbow popping up. I still can't understand Snap getting on there though. Utterly bizarre. Where John Marvel starts ranting about how the job's changed and how it's all about figures and targets nowadays, it feels like it took seconds to write.

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #47 on: September 17, 2018, 01:45:14 PM »

Next blog post should be Monday, I'm aiming to do double-reviews every other week. Hopefully I'll get some more enthusiasm now I'm onto the books I've really enjoyed.


*taps watch*

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #48 on: September 17, 2018, 07:29:18 PM »
Just done a shortlist prediction to buy a couple of weeks. I've loved the back half of my list, but god all motivation to write about it has fucked off to who knows where. I had to whack Milkman on the end cos there were only the five proper standouts for me.

I'm hoping when The Long Take and Snap end up on the shortlist I'll get a second wave from the fury.

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #49 on: September 17, 2018, 07:46:24 PM »
I gave my copy of Snap to a tramp when I got off the train. I hope he used the pages for toilet paper.

EDIT: Just read your blog. Did you know that you've listed 7 in your shortlist prediction?

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #50 on: September 17, 2018, 08:13:54 PM »
Fucking piss.

Bye bye Milkman!

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2018, 08:45:38 PM »
I was going to make a shit joke about a Bookers (half) dozen.

I agree with most of your choices although I did think that Mars... was a much better book than Washington. If you had to bet on one to win, which would it be? I think the obvious top 3 are the Rooney book, Overstory and FALAQS and would probably go for the latter as winner.

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #52 on: September 20, 2018, 10:30:44 AM »
Shortlist

Milkman
Washington Black
Everything Under
The Mars Room
The Overstory
The Long Take

Oh dear.

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #53 on: September 20, 2018, 09:13:25 PM »
Shitlist.

No Rooney? No Donal Ryan? No In Our Mad and Furious City?

Shit list.

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2018, 09:29:00 PM »
Watching the BBC documentary about the Booker prize that's on now. Also just watching my last two blog posts flutter away as I fail to bother writing them. I think speeding through the list may have been my problem. Last year I was reading and writing up until the last day, so it all felt like one fun thing. But I finished reading ages ago, and writing since then has felt like I'm dragging it out.

I can't even think what I want to win. Washington Black probably, though I'm sure it'll be Everything Under.

This documentary is making me hate books. It looks stuffy and insular.

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #55 on: October 16, 2018, 09:53:53 PM »
Milkman. S'alright, innit.

Captain Z

  • Oh yeah my cholesterol's going down
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #56 on: October 17, 2018, 12:41:31 AM »
They're even giving the Man Booker prize to women now *rolls eyes*

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #57 on: October 22, 2018, 03:51:37 PM »
You can buy a bundle of all the shortlisted books in for £39.99 (£6.67 per book) from the Book People
https://www.thebookpeople.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/qs_product_tbp?productId=964543&catalogId=10051&searchTerm=man+booker

Hardback too!
It's become my standard money saving Christmas present idea, 2 hardback books per sibling and I look quite generous instead of a miserly git.
I've just finished Washington Black which i enjoyed. Now onto Milkman. Just need to finish them all before Christmas so I can decide which book to assign to which family member.

Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #58 on: October 23, 2018, 10:27:13 AM »
I pity the poor fucker who gets given The Long Take

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker 2018
« Reply #59 on: October 23, 2018, 07:26:46 PM »
Who do you hate most in your family, Josef?