The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. In 2014, the Booker prize expanded its range of authors from earlier years – U.K., Ireland, Commonwealth Countries and Zimbabwe – by including authors from around the world. The prize is the world’s most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers by translating into sales apart from the prize money of $80,000. The shortlist for 2015 is out and the winner will be announced on 13th October.
A Little Life – 6/4
– Hanya Yanagihara
A Little Life tells the story of a boy who is chronically, outrageously abused by a series of adults tasked with his care, and his struggles to forget the nightmare of his childhood. It is a depiction of heartbreak, and a dark examination of the tyranny of memory and the limits of human endurance. It is the story of true love and friendship.
It is an extremely depressing book and yet it is one one of the most beautiful books poignantly written that brings out the finest talent of the author to the table. Her prose is clean and honest and revealing of the many emotions that humans experience. It’s never explicitly beautiful, not flowery or overwrought with adjectives or descriptors. But it has its own beauty that comes from its ability to convey these feelings, making you feel every pain or happiness of the characters. At times,it is almost graphical and you can see the image of the abuses as if it is happening right in front of your eyes.
A Little Life has a high chance of winning the Booker prize due to the writing style.
The Year of the Runaways – 5/2
– Sunjeev Sahota
This is the second novel by Sunjeev Sahota. His first novel Ours are the Streets, was met with massive praise and in 2013, he found a spot in the fourth edition of Grant’s list of “Best of British Young Novelists.”
Thirteen young men live in a house in Sheffield, each in flight from India and in desperate search of a new life. Tarlochan, a former rickshaw driver, will say nothing about his past in Bihar; and Avtar has a secret that binds him to protect the choatic Randeep. Randeep, in turn, has a visa-wife in a flat on the other side of town: a clever, devout woman whose cupboards are full of her husband’s clothes, in case the immigration men surprise her with a call.
Sweeping between India and England, and between childhood and the present day The Year of the Runaways is a story of an unlikely family thrown together by circumstance.
Although, the reviews are not that good as A Little Life, the betting chances were doubled due to an anonymous punter’s predictions who also predicted the last year’s winner. According to him, he predicts the winner by going through the Wikipedia pages of the judges and this year he predicts this book to be the winner.
A Brief History of Seven Killings – 7/2
– Marlon James
This is a difficult book to read. There is corruption, danger, and reggae music of the gang-infested island and its ghettos. An of course, there is Bob Marley. On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert, gunmen stormed his house, machine guns blazing. The attack nearly killed the Reggae superstar, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Marley would go on to perform at the free concert on December 5, but he left the country the next day, not to return for two years.
A Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the 70s, to the crack wars in 80s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the 90s.
There is a cast of 70+ characters, who are listed at the front of the book. You will be frequently need to refer the character list as you are likely to get confused. This 700 paged novel will demand your patience and it will be well rewarded by the experience.
The Fishermen – 8/1
– Chigozie Obioma
It begins with perhaps the most convincing punchline in modern literature: “We were fishermen.” With that sentence, which at once introduces the reader to the world about to be experienced and also portends the tragedy to come. Chigozie Obioma is another in a long line of talented African writers. The Fishermen skillfully examines the delicate dynamics of an African family living in Nigeria during the 1990s. The Fishermen has a captivating premise: four brothers are given a prophecy from a local madman that the eldest will die at the hands of one of his brothers.
Told by shy nine-year-old Benjamin, The Fishermen combines classic African storytelling with contemporary fiction, and illuminates Nigeria in all its historical, political and cultural complexity. He is a hidden gem among the shortlisted candidates of Booker Prize this year. It won’t come as a surprise if he wins the prize this year.
A Spool of Blue Thread – 8/1
– Anne Tyler
It is one of those those rare books that capture pieces of real life in such a way that you look at the ordinary as you have never looked at it before. A Spool of Blue Thread is about the Whitshank family of Baltimore. The novel covers several generations and different family perspectives, but the heart of the book was with the mother, Abby Whitshank. Abby loves and frets over her children and grandchildren, and she frequently invites strangers over to dinner if she feels they need someplace to go. But Abby is getting forgetful as she gets older, and sometimes gets lost going on walks. Her husband, Red, is going deaf, and some family members think the parents shouldn’t be left alone.
This septuagenarian doesn’t need an award to prove anything to the world, yet she proves that she has something to offer even today by writing a book that has been shortlisted in the Man Booker Prize
Satin Island – 20/1
– Tom McCarthy
This is the second time for Tom McCarthy when his book is shortlisted for Man Booker Prize. However, this is the most unlikeliest book of all the books shortlisted.In Satin Island, Tom McCarthy captures the way we experience our world, our efforts to find meaning (or just to stay awake) and discern the narratives we think of as our lives. This novel is incredibly clever! The writing is rather dry, but the overall meaning makes it worth to read. We tried to figure out why this book might win the Man Booker Prize but we cannot put our finger on anything. It’s a difficult book to understand and most readers don’t enjoy this kind of books despite relating to the characters.The only reason it can win is that it is the only book representing the state of mind of today’s mind. They call it “Post Modern”. It only happens to be the only book in the list that doesn’t span over a long period of time.
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