Author Topic: Booker Prize 2020  (Read 1142 times)

Booker Prize 2020
« on: July 28, 2020, 11:58:04 AM »
Longlist announced.

The New Wilderness by Diane Cook (US)

This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe)

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi (US) 

Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze (UK) 

The Mirror and The Light by Hilary Mantel (UK) 

Apeirogon by Colum McCann (Ireland-US) 

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia-US)

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (US) 

Real Life by Brandon Taylor (US) 

Redhead by The Side of the Road by Anne Tyler (US) 

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Scotland-US) 

Love and Other Thought Experiments by Sophie Ward (UK) 

How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang (US) 


You ready, Hobo?

samadriel

  • Afro Gunsou wa Afro!
Re: Booker Prize 2020
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 12:11:31 PM »
How I laughed when I briefly thought Dane Cook had written a Booker nominee.

buttgammon

  • How thick is wall?
Re: Booker Prize 2020
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 01:34:55 PM »
Helpfully, I haven't read any of these (although the Tsitsi Dangarembga book is on my to-read list - I just haven't got round to buying it yet). I flicked through the first pages of the Column McCann one in a bookshop a while ago and thought it didn't look like my cup of tea.

Re: Booker Prize 2020
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2020, 02:01:49 PM »
I flicked through the first pages of the Column McCann one in a bookshop a while ago and thought it didn't look like my cup of tea.

I did exactly the same.

I liked Diane Cook's first book quite a bit so may get that. Like the look of the Kiley Reid one and How Much of These Hills Is Gold sounds good but I definitely won't be trying to do the whole longlist this year.

BritishHobo

  • That is a really reductive impression
Re: Booker Prize 2020
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2020, 05:21:28 PM »
I'm relinquishing my responsibilities this year as I've hung myself up doing two separate monthly centenary blogs for a couple of Welsh authors, which has seen me leave all other reading and writing by the stupid wayside.

I think it may be a good thing as I've still not read The Mirror and The Light and holy shit will that eat up a lot of reading time. And yeah, it often ends up being a bit of a drudge. I may just pick a couple I like the look of and just try them.

Mantel seems almost like too obvious a pick for winner - a perfect score of Booker wins for the trilogy - but then after the piss-taking madness of doing joint winners last year just to make sure the Handmaid's Tale sequel won, I'm not too sure.

Inspector Norse

  • I bash the Bishop well.
Re: Booker Prize 2020
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 11:11:23 AM »
Got the Mantel on the shelf and will get round to it soon. A few, namely Zhang, Krauze and Stuart, sound interesting.

One benefit of opening it up to all English-language writers is that it’s steered the lists away a little from the bourgeois navelgazing they often focused on.

Re: Booker Prize 2020
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2020, 03:30:25 PM »
Finished How Much of These Hills is Gold yesterday. It's great. I think I may have missed some of the allusions and references but the images of the decaying body of Ba sloshing about in the trunk and Sam with a stone down her pants grinding against Anna will stay with me for a long time.

Got through a couple of chapters of Such A Fun Age last night and I can't wait to read more tonight. It's a lot fizzier than HMOTHIG and I'm hoping that Alix and Peter turn out to be utter cunts.

Re: Booker Prize 2020
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2020, 11:20:56 AM »
Finished Such a Fun Age last night, it was great. Dead smart. The climax was a little bit daft but it was all so entertaining.

Re: Booker Prize 2020
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2020, 03:16:35 PM »
Read two more since last post.

Diane Cook's The New Wilderness was good, about a group of people who have fled civilisation to live in a managed wilderness. They are given strict rules about how long they can stay in one place and what they can and can't do, and are overseen by some officious rangers. It starts with a horrible depiction of a stillbirth. Some really well drawn characters and there's just enough uncertainty as to what is actually happening in 'the real world'. Felt more like something that will be adapted by Netflix Amazon Prime, although that's probably being a little harsh on it.

After that, I read Real Life by Brandon Taylor. This felt hazy, quite numb in parts. Gay black man at american university frets over his science experiments, gets shouted at by a horrible ugly white girl with ginger hair and has a weird sexual relationship with one friend, and a strange platonic relationship with the others. Oh, and he announces that his horrible dad died a few weeks back and he didn't go to the funeral. This was probably my favourite of the books I read, I just really liked the feel of it, felt so distant and almost dream like.

I'm on to Shuggie Bain now, if only so I stop calling it Shuggie Otis. Only read 2 or 3 pages last night and I already think it'll be my favourite.


Edit: Just seen that the shortlist was announced a few weeks ago. Probably won't bother with the others on the list.

The New Wilderness by Diane Cook
This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Inspector Norse

  • I bash the Bishop well.
Re: Booker Prize 2020
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2020, 05:01:27 PM »
Seems like you're working your way through the exact same ones I'm interested in, nice to see them get good reviews here as well as with the broadsheet gang. My reading's slown down a lot since summer but I've picked up the C-Pam one to start with.

Re: Booker Prize 2020
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2020, 10:03:58 AM »
Finished Shuggie Bain last night and I'm not really sure what to make of it. It was certainly the most involving and affecting of the books on the list and I think it'll stay with me for a while yet, but I don't necessarily think that makes it a good book. The relationship between Shuggie and his mum was so touching and the two of them were such sympathetic characters but I think the book was maudlin and went for easy goals at times. I also think it was too long with events and incidents just popping up and having no repercussions or bearing on the story as a whole, almost as if the author was cramming in incidents from his own upbringing (which may be the case judging from the dedication to his mum at the start). Be really interested to read what others think of it.

Tags: