Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Contenders

The 2008 Booker longlist:

Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger
Gaynor Arnold, Girl in a Blue Dress
Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture
John Berger, From A to X
Michelle de Kretser, The Lost Dog
Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies
Linda Grant, The Clothes on Their Backs
Mohammed Hanif, A Case of Exploding Mangoes
Philip Hensher, The Northern Clemency
Joseph O'Neill, Netherland
Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence
Tom Rob Smith, Child 44
Steve Toltz, A Fraction of the Whole

Not a bad list, although hardly thrilling. (But then this is the Booker...) I experienced a moment of shock when I saw the name Mohammed Hanif, until I remembered that the bloke our government locked up for no good reason was Mohammed Haneef. I know Damien Leith parlayed his Australian Idol win into a publishing deal, but terrorism suspect to Booker contender would be another thing altogether.

I happened to read Netherland last weekend so I should have a review up soon. It's been favourably compared to The Great Gatsby and Joseph O'Connor calls it "a great American novel" (although O'Neill is Irish, hence his Booker eligibility) but the reason I read it is because it was said to be that rare beast, a good novel about cricket. It turned out to be a reasonably good novel that had cricket in it. I wouldn't be surprised to see it win.

Other than that I'll be reading and reviewing what I can of the list. As is traditional with my Booker reading, the snark will be brought when warranted.

1 comment:

genevieve said...

For 'we don't like cricket, oh no, we love it!'
Don't think there will be any cricket in Sea of Poppies. Might be some in the Toltz or the Hensher p'raps? those I do want to read at some point.
Otherwise, I have read two that coodabeen contenders, so I can let the rest flow on by me and wait for your reviews, Tim.