The winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize will be announced tomorrow, from an incredibly diverse short list. I had hoped to read the entire short list prior to the announcement of the winner, but, despite my best efforts, I’ve only managed to read 5 and a half of the short listed titles so far:
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James – based upon the real life events surrounding the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in ’76, this is an ambitious novel that explores the lead up to and the aftermath of this event from multiple perspectives.
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy – focusing on a corporate anthropologist who collates data on whatever subject takes his interest at the time, this is a disjointed novel where very little happens, and which I still found quite compelling.
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma – a prophecy with tragic consequences for four young boys in Nigeria, well-written and probably my favourite novel on the short list.
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler – a family saga with a bit of a twist, but an odd choice for the short list, in my opinion, as it lacks the originality of the other short listed titles.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – probably the most talked about novel on the short list, it tells the story of four friends, one of whom was abused as a child and who is constantly battling his demons as a result.
I am currently reading The Year of the Runaways, and will post my review once I’ve finished it.
When the short list was announced, I predicted that A Brief History of Seven Killings would win. Having read through most of the novels, I still hold this view, although the Man Booker Prize is notoriously unpredictable. James’s novel is vast and ambitious, and while it’s not the easiest of reads, it’s a novel that will stay with me for a long time.