Harvest

Booker_Conversations

2013 Booker Conversations: And Our Winner Is…

Booker_ConversationsThe 2013 Booker Conversations is a series of in-depth, spoiler-free discussions between BookerMarks bloggers about this year’s nominated titles.

Today, we all join forces one final time to weigh in on who we’re each pulling for to win the prize tomorrow and we reveal who our collective winner is, as calculated by our shortlist standings rating system.

Aaron Westerman is Opinionless. Except of course when it comes to books or movies. He’s the co-founder of Typographical Era where he blogs on a regular basis about the latest in translated literature, foreign cinema, and more.

Karli Cude, co-founder of Typographical Era, is an avid reader and former bookseller. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in English Literature in 2010 and recently received a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences.

Michelle Williams is an avid “reader” of books and a “rider” of bicycles. When she is not cycling you can catch her reading and when she is not reading, well, she is probably pedaling about somewhere. Her blog, A Reader and A Rider journals her reviews of literary fiction.

Penny Kollar is 1/3 of the Literary Hoarders that works in research administration by day and dreams often of reading and working amongst books full time.

Jackie Hirst is a book freak and a Duran Duran enthusiast.  She’s also 1/3 of the Literary Hoarders.

Elizabeth Polachok is 1/3 of Literary Hoarders, and works in television.  She’ll still tell you to shut off the TV and pick up a book though.

Mike Cohen sometimes sails historic ships in New York Harbor, jockeys a computer other times, and blogs nearly never at 40gigsandamule.com.

Jennifer Fliss is The Well Read Fish.  She’s an avid reader, writer, runner, and has been known to do the flying trapeze (completely true). In addition to literary treats and reviews, The Well Read Fish likes to pair like books with like books, be it by subject, style, setting . . . The Well Read Fish is a New York fish living in Seattle, loving it and occasionally struggling with it.

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Booker_Conversations

2013 Booker Conversations: Harvest by Jim Crace

Booker_ConversationsThe 2013 Booker Conversations is a series of in-depth, spoiler-free discussions between BookerMarks bloggers about this year’s nominated titles.

Today, Aaron Westerman, Karli Cude, and Jennifer Fliss partake in an in-depth spoiler-free discussion about Jim Crace’s novel Harvest.

Aaron is Opinionless. Except of course when it comes to books or movies. He’s the co-founder of Typographical Era where he blogs on a regular basis about the latest in translated literature, foreign cinema, and more.

Karli Cude, co-founder of Typographical Era, is an avid reader and former bookseller. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.A. in English Literature in 2010 and recently received a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences.

Jennifer Fliss is The Well Read Fish.  She’s an avid reader, writer, runner, and has been known to do the flying trapeze (completely true). In addition to literary treats and reviews, The Well Read Fish likes to pair like books with like books, be it by subject, style, setting . . . The Well Read Fish is a New York fish living in Seattle, loving it and occasionally struggling with it.

Jim Crace’s final novel Harvest has found itself nominated for both the Man Booker Prize and The Goldsmiths Prize. Set in an unspecified time period and told over seven days, Crace’s swan song boldly defies all of the expectations placed upon by casual fiction reader. Plot and character development fly out the window as Crace embarks upon an eloquent exploration of what happens when communication breaks down and trust dissolves.

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2013 Man Booker Shortlisted: Harvest by Jim Crace #6

HarvestRating: 2.0
Harvest
A Novel by Jim Crace
2013 / 224 pages

I feel like I have been transported back in time! It is 1987 and Mrs. Edmunson has assigned us Harvest by Jim Crace for grade 12 novel study. “You must read it so try to enjoy it” she says. “Come on! There are some great things in here! There is violence and witches and even magic mushrooms!”

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2013 Shortlisted: Harvest by Jim Crace #5

HarvestRating: 3 
Harvest
A Novel by Jim Crace
2013 / 224 pages

From Goodreads: In effortless and tender prose, Jim Crace details the unraveling of a pastoral idyll in the wake of economic progress. His tale is timeless and unsettling, framed by a beautifully evoked world that will linger in your memory long after you finish reading.

But it wasn’t effortless prose.

As much as I wanted to like Jim Crace’s Harvest, a novel that is reported to be his last, I often found myself avoiding it.  Yes, the book’s prose was beautiful.  Yes, it was a tough and interesting premise.  Yes, there is no question that Jim Crace is a respected author who has written another novel that is being widely discussed across literary circles.  It just was not the book for me.

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2013 Shortlisted: Harvest by Jim Crace #4

HarvestRating: 3
Harvest
A Novel by Jim Crace
2013 / 224 pages

Centuries ago in an unspecified rural location, a small village of farmers spot a mysterious cloud of smoke coming from the outskirts of their land.  This occurrence might not seem extraordinary, and certainly not any cause for alarm, but to the villagers it signifies a change in the air.  It means that outsiders are nearby, perhaps watching them.  Are the owners of this smoke cloud friend or foe?  No one can be sure at first, but when the village master’s dovecote is destroyed by a fire, the fearful community turns to the mysterious smoke cloud for answers.  As they soon learn, the fire belongs to a small family – The Beldams – that has set up camp near the village, and though they may look harmless enough, someone must pay for the crime that has been committed.

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Harvest

2013 Shortlisted: Harvest by Jim Crace #3

HarvestRating: 4
Harvest
By Jim Crace
2013 / 224 Pages

The promise of a man

It’s a curious thing, the way one can attempt to trace the threads that bind together each batch of six novels that are annually shortlisted for the United Kingdom’s prestigious Man Booker Prize.  Sometimes, like last year, the connections are devastatingly obvious:  Harold Fry, Futh, and Kitty Finch are all restless, misunderstood souls?  You don’t say!

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