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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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Life on Mars
Jennifer Brown
The Family Under the Bridge
Natalie Savage Carlson

Man Booker Prize Shortlist 2015

Satin Island: A novel - Tom McCarthy The Fishermen - Chigozie John Obioma A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel - Marlon James A Spool of Blue Thread: A novel - Anne Tyler A Little Life: A Novel - Hanya Yanagihara The Year of the Runaways: A novel - Sunjeev Sahota

It's that time of the year again, time to push aside my other reading and read the books nominated for the Man Booker Prize. Though I try to read all six titles on the shortlist before the announcement one month later, there is often one or two I cannot gain access to here in the u.s. This year if any title is going to present a problem it is The Year of the Runaways. I have already read A Little Life and the remaining four are easy to get my hands on.


Given the prize's record and taking into account reviews of the books on the longlist, I'm only slightly surprised by the shortlisted titles. I was confident The Fishermen would make the cut. And I suspected two of the five u.s. nominated authors would make the list, all but The Moor's Account seemed like strong contenders. The only big surprise to me was the addition of Tom McCarthy's Satin Island, a book which has not gotten the highest reviews and which many readers of McCarthy have said is not his best. I certainly thought that spot on the list was to be filled by Enright's The Green Road, or possibly O'Hagan's The Illuminations.


Throughout the next month, I'll be chiming in with my favorites for the prize. Already, I can tell you that, while I like the writing of Hanya Yanigihara, A Little Life is not my pick for the prize. You can read my review of it here.


The 2015 Man Booker Prize shortlist:

  • Satin Island by Tom McCarthy
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
  • A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
  • The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma