Tuesday, October 11, 2005


In a victory for the forces of mediocrity, John Banville has nabbed the 2005 Booker Prize for his rather dull novel, The Sea. How disappointing.

UPDATE: Banville, ever the poster boy for modesty and grace, is quoted as saying, "It's nice to see a work of art winning the Booker Prize". Oh, doesn't it make your snob-senses tingle!

Meanwhile, can we please have some new adjectives to describe Banville's prose. "Crystalline", "wry" and "mordent" are getting a little tired. I'm sure the man himself could be of service. Personally, I find his style too flocculent for words.


TimT said...

So, will next years winner by the writer of the book 'The D'?

I'm sorry. That was an appalling joke.

Rigo Bear said...

Actually, I tend to disagree. I haven't read many Booker Prize winners, but the two I did read were utter shite, so it doesn't amaze me that another mediocre novel has won. I speak of the 2002 and 2003 winners. Yann Martel's Life of Pi was fantastic until he ruined it with a "and then I woke up" ending. DBC Pierre's Vernon God Little was crap from start to finish, and the only reason I read it all was because I was expecting something fantastic to happen to make it worthwhile. Alas, this was not the case. But that's just my opinion, of course.

Tim said...

I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with. I didn't say it was surprising that Banville won, just disappointing.

Tony.T said...

Perhaps "crystalline" is the mot juste. It's what happens to snot when it dries.

Rigo Bear said...

Sorry Tim, should have made myself clearer. Just that I thought it wasn't a disapointment that The Sea won, when so far a label on a book saying Winner of the Man Booker Prize just makes me steer clear. I'm happy another mediocre one won. Means I won't have to remember the title of it to avoid it at all costs, since it will have a nice warning label.

I just re-read that and it makes nearly no sense. Oh well. Works in my head, and that's all that matters!

Tim said...

Ah, now I understand. Yeah, the past few winners haven't been particularly inspiring. The last one I read (apart from The Sea, obviously), was Vernon God Little, and I agree with your assessment of it. The Booker is like the Oscars - the quality nominees rarely win.

Anonymous said...

Flocculant is such a good word. There is a stuff called "flocculated mud" which scientists use to describe a particular kind of jellified slime at the bottom of rivers, which is both fluid and solid at the same time. No bottom to it, but some of substance that restricts movement and makes your boot go sqwitchbloop when you pull it out.

It is an important ecological space in which many chemical reactions occur and creatures move up and down depending on conditions like acidity and presence of light.

Great blog, btw.

- barista