Why it Will Win: Unexploded by Alison MacLeod

Why_It_Will_WinOver the course of the next eight days, leading up the Man Booker shortlist announcement on September 10th, each one of our eight bloggers will champion a different nominated title and explain Why it Will Win the coveted prize.

Today, Penny reveals all the reasons why Alison MacLeod will be one happy chick come October 15th.

Here I will present six (6) reasons why Alison’s MacLeod’s Unexploded will explode to the first place position and take the Man Booker Prize 2013:

  1. The last time a Canadian won the Man Booker was in 2002 with Yann Martel’s the Life of Pi. We’re due for a win.

life-of-pi-cover   CanadaFlagSunset

2. Last year the Guardian (a fine place to go for Man Booker info), compiled sales data to show how winning the prize can help out a writer. In weekly sales, Yann Martel saw a 1,118% increase in sales (for his Life of Pi) in 2002 the week of the prize announcement. That would mean a significant increase in readership for this exquisitely written story by Alison Macleod. With the exchange rates, that means significant dollars for Alison! For the full article from the Guardian on why you should care about the Man Booker, click here.

dollar signs   alison dollar signs

3. One of the other Canadians in running for the prize wrote a book that is simply far too long to take the prize: Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries checks in at 848 pages. It’s far too much of a door-stopper and takes an incredible investment of time to complete to actually take the win.


4. Unexploded is the Goldilocks of the Man Booker Longlist 2013. It is just right. It is just right length at 352 pages, it’s not too long and it’s not too short. The characters in the novel are just right as they are each perfectly portrayed individuals with distinct and true voices. There is just the right amount of characters as well. One does not need to keep a spreadsheet by their side to keep track of the myriad of names. There is just Geoffrey, Evelyn, Philip and Otto. The story unfolds just right as well and is one that makes the reader feel just right too.


5. Of all the covers in this year’s Man Booker Longlist, Unexploded has the very best one. It perfectly portrays the content, place and person found within. Evelyn sits on a beach surrounded by wire fencing and a labour camp in the background in what is the soon to be invaded Brighton Beach reading from her beloved Virginia Woolf novels. This cover is not only the most beautiful of the Longlist, it is not garish nor ugly in any way and it definitely does not suffer from lack of creativity as many, many, if not all, of the others.


6. Finally, Unexploded will win simply because no one other author in the running has written a tale with as much emotional richness, sensitivity, given their story a distinct sense of place or used the great and moving language as MacLeod has provided her readers.


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