You may call this an obsession, you may call it insane, however for the last 20 odd years I have been buying the Booker Prize shortlisted novels and have read them in order to be outraged or concur with the judge’s decisions.
Over that time I have managed to back fill my collection of Booker nominees and have randomly read older ones. Recently I decided that I would commence with the 1969 shortlist and read my way forward. Each September that will be put on hold whilst I churn through the current shortlist.
I’ve probably read between 80 to 120 or so of the 242 shortlisted books (I haven’t included the “missing Booker” from 1970 that they retrospectively awarded in 2010).
And my burning question about the Booker? A question that I’ve debated numerous of times….how on earth did Peter Carey’s “True History of The Kelly Gang” beat Ian McEwan’s “Atonement”?
Here’s a listing of Books shortlisted for the Booker Prize that are still missing from my collection. Hopefully I’ll fill in the gaps over the coming years (and no more go missing as I lend one’s out to people and forget I did so!!!)
Kingsley Amis – Ending Up
John Arden – Silence Among the Weapons
Nina Bawden – Circles of Deceit
Elizabeth Bowen – Eva Trout
J.L. Carr – The Battle of Pollocks Crossing
Lawrence Durrell – Constance or Solitary Practices
Barry England – Figures in a Landscape
John Fuller – Flying to Nowhere
Mohsin Hamid – The Reluctant Fundamentalist
R.C. Hutchinson – Rising
Molly Keane – Good Behaviour
Thomas Kilroy – The Big Chapel
Doris Lessing – The Sirian Experiments
Peneloe Lively – According to Mark
Hisham Matar – In the Country of Men
Elizabeth Mavor – The Green Equinox
Brian Moore – The Doctor’s Wife
Julia O’Faolain – No Country for Young Men
Julian Rathbone – King Fisher Lives
Mordecai Richler – St Urbain’s Horseman
Bernice Rubens – The Elected Member
Bernice Rubens – A Five-Year Sentence
Ann Schlee – Rhine Journey
Zadie Smith – On Beauty (I’ve read this and have obviously lent it to someone as it is not to be found)
C.P Snow – The Their Wisdom
David Storey – Pasmore
Alice Thomas Ellis – The 27th Kingdom
Rose Tremain – Restoration
William Trevor – Mrs Eckdorf in O’Neill’s Hotel
T.W. Wheeler – The Conjunction
G.M. Williams – From Scenes Like These
Tim Winton – Dirt Music
I’ll post reviews, thoughts, comments etc on each of the nominees I read – knowing not all with agree with me, but I can guarantee I will be as opinionated as ever.