Monday, 17 August 2009

A bit on the Booker

Some of my blogger friends have been blogging about their plans to read their way through the blogging long-list - Paperback reader and Jackie in particular. However, with my VMC challenge I have enough on my plate, and although I'm interested in some of the titles I'm not interested enough to read the rest when I have other books which interest me more. I've read the Sarah Waters, and I have the Samantha Harvey on my librarypile. I definitely want to read the Coetzee at some point, as it completes the trilogy started with Boy and Youth which along with disgrace were the only Coetzees that I've really enjoyed. The Trevor and Mawer titles might be interesting, and the inclusion of the Me Cheeta book strikes me as quite weird. I'll be interested to see what makes the shortlist.

Anyway, I think it's interesting to see what makes a prize-winning book, and I have been reading some of the previous winners which appealed to me in a sporadic "wonder what to blog about next". I loved Stanley Middleton's Holiday, and last weekend, staying in a hotel (as you know I like to theme my reading), I finally got onto Anita Brookner's Hotel Du Lac. I have enjoyed some of her other novels so I wanted to see what it was about this one which made it stand out. It is predominantly about a lady called Edith Hope who goes to Switzerland to get away from her life (we find out why as the story unfolds), but considerable attention is given to the stories of the other guests staying at the hotel.

I found it an enjoyable novel, although I didn't enjoy it as much as the other Anita Brookner's I've read, and as I suspected, I was left wondering about how it had come to win the prize.

Two other blog posts on the title:
Paperback reader here.
Savidge Reads here .
Interesting comments on both posts.


  1. I'm kind-of in a similar place, where I really don't want to read the entire long-list, but, there are a couple of titles that appeal to me. I've just finished The Wilderness, which I thought was incredible, so if you get a chance, I'd recommend giving it a go.

    As for Me Cheeta - the premise seems kind-of gammy, so let's see how it pans out. I haven't read it though, so, my words hold no meaning here!

    As for Coetzee, I absolutely love him, and I do want to read Summertime. I read Disgrace, which I loved, and the other one, which might be experimental writing, but was really well written (in my opinion) was Diary Of A Bad Year.

    Also, I loved Hotel du Lac as well. It is the only Brookner I've read though, which might explain it.

  2. Thanks for the links, Verity.

    As you know, I'm reading the Coetzee now but taking my time with it. I find his writing accessible but this is such a layered concept that I'm trying to do it justice.

    I too question what makes a winning novel...

    I'm not sure if you read my review but I found Heliopolis to be outstanding and somewhat of a refreshing change to what I normally read, although that is wide and varied anyway.


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