Not a great line up!
By Ralph McAllister
Man Booker awards time again and some of my readers will remember a diatribe I wrote about previous winners and finalists.
Ah well, here we go again!
Of the 13 long listed for the 2018 I confess to knowing two authors, Belinda Bauer and Michael Ondaatje, the others are complete unknowns, to me.
And Warlight, Ondaatje ‘s latest I could not finish, despite the stunning prose which couldn’t make up for a boring plot, meandering from less than mysterious betrayals and intrigues in London during the Second World War .
As for the others?
I have not read and have no knowledge.
In the meantime I could ask why was there not room on the list for the latest from Tim Winton, Fredrik Backman, Mick Herron, Alex Miller, Philip Pullman and…………
Get into Fredrik Backman
Changing from the querulous let me urge you to meet Fredrik Backman.
You may have read his A Man Called Ove, a good place to start.
Then try The Scandal or its alternative title Beartown, all about ice hockey, but not.
Then try the sequel Us Against You, just published ,and all about ice hockey, but not.
Or Britt-Marie Was Here, all about football but not.
This Swedish writer deals with small towns, their highs and lows, their isolation and their togetherness. He writes with a homespun philosophy, at times hilarious and at other times deeply touching.
His characters are quirky, flawed and totally adorable.
He is a writer with an enormous heart and I defy you to read him without tears of joy and sadness emerging. I cannot wait to read his next novel.
More blanc I would suggest.
But if you don’t trust me, you can always start reading the Booker long list.
And the best of luck !