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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Currently reading

Visible Empire
Hannah Pittard
The Deptford Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Life on Mars
Jennifer Brown
The Family Under the Bridge
Natalie Savage Carlson

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.