The Man Booker Prize.
I was lucky enough to be invited, along with members of my library reading group, to a party at the London Library that launched the short list for this years Man Booker Prize.
The list is as follows:
The Inheritance Of Men by Kirin Desai
The Secret River by Kate Grenville
Carry Me Down by MJ Hyland
In The Country Of Men by Matar Hisham
Mothers Milk by Edward St Aubyn
The Nightwatch by Sarah Waters.
I'm honoured to have be chosen by my group to contribute to a blog that is being run by the Man Booker official website. You can read all about the evening mentioned above and reviews of the books here. My group is called The Gallery Book Club.
I'm really looking forward to reading these books. I read the St Aubyn over the weekend and it was a very good read, providing you took some of the characterisation with a pinch of salt. There are a number of very precocious children in it who speak like university lecturers despite being only 5 years old. Some might find this deeply annoying, however, in my view, St Aubyn has a quality reminisant of Evelyn Waugh and I'm sure he is merely parodying such children and their equally repugnant parents.
I am currently reading Maria Hyland's Carry Me Down and finding it hard to put down. It is brilliantly written and from what I've heard from other book groups taking part in this years Booker, is a big favourite. Hyalnd's characters are far more believable and likeable and you can really imagine being in 1970's Ireland where the novel is set.
It is far too early to choose a winner just yet, although I imagine the judges may have already made up there minds. That's the way these things usually work.