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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Currently reading

Home Fire: A Novel
Kamila Shamsie
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
Arundhati Roy
Solar Bones
Mike McCormack
The Pastures of Heaven
James Nagel, John Steinbeck

The Man Booker Prize 2014

J - Howard Jacobson We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fowler The Narrow Road to the Deep North - Richard Flanagan How To Be Both - Ali Smith The Lives of Others - Neel Mukherjee To Rise Again at a Decent Hour - Joshua Ferris

So the 2014 winner for the Man Booker Prize will be announced in a little over an hour. I'm a Booker junkie. Don't know why, but it's the prize that has always appealed most to me. I think the longlist > shortlist format is part of the appeal, and maybe also the types of books the Booker tends to award are just my style. When it comes to other awards, I often find myself saying, "I definitely wouldn't have picked that winner... I wouldn't even have nominated that book." But with the Booker, I'm usually fairly happy.

 

Last year, I was thrilled by the selection of Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries. I'd made it through the Booker shortlist and it was my favorite, by far. This year, I wasn't able to make it through the shortlist. That's because of no fault of my own, but the ridiculous publishing dates in the U.S. I realize this is a essentially a British prize, but it would be nice to get my hands on the shortlist before the prize is announced. Oh well.

 

That being said, I am unable to predict this year's winner. Of the three I read, I think the only one that has a shot is The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and To Rise Again at a Decent Hour are both long titles shots. According to many late reports, The Lives of Others is the favorite, but I have a suspicion that How to Be Both is a strong contender as well. Howard Jacobson, the only previous winner of the prize on the shortlist, is obviously a strong contender with his novel, J. Who do you think will win?

 

The Man Booker Prize will be announced Tuesday, October 14, at 20:30 UTC.