Oh what a difference a year makes! We’re all focused with laser like intensity on the new crop of hopefuls that have emerged to fight it out for this year’s Man Booker Award. We’re busy debating who will make the shortlist cut. We’re itching to celebrate/complain about who gets crowned the winner. But whatever became of the class of 2012?
Below we take a quick look at what last year’s finalists have been up to since the announcement of Hilary Mantel’s history making victory.
Has it been a year already? I feel like it’s only been a few weeks since we finished recording our final podcast, crossed our fingers in hopeful anticipation, and then openly wept when Deborah Levy lost the 2012 Man Booker Award.
Okay, fine. Only one of us wept.
Still, the main thing we all agreed on at the end of the day was that any victory over Will Self would be enough to satisfy us. Now here we all stand, about to unite for the second year of what is quickly becoming our annual tradition of passing judgment on all things Booker. I’ve got a few new streamlined “rules” that we’re applying to this year’s proceedings that I need to get you up to speed on, but before I do, perhaps I should take a moment to catch you up on what each member of our crack team has been up to over the past year, and of course, introduce you all to our newest collaborator.
Rating: 3.5 Narcopolis A Novel by Jeet Thayil 2012/292 Pages
When the Man Booker long list was released, I eagerly read the synopsis for each book and then listed them number one through twelve on a sheet of paper in the order in which I wanted to read them. Bringing Up the Bodies and Garden of Evening Mists topped my list of books I could not wait to read. Narcopolis was the very last book on my list. From the cover art to the description of the book, nothing attracted me to this book. I did not want to read it for any reason – ever; yet, it made the short list, so as part of the Bookermarks project, I would have to read it. (more…)
Jackie’s Rating: 3 Penny’s Rating: 3 Narcopolis A Novel by Jeet Thayil 2012 / 292 Pages
Get ready for a drug induced ride!! Narcopolis is a novel that begins with a 7 page run on sentence that will likely scare off many a reader! It takes place in the underground world of opium dens in 1970’s Bombay, India. It chronicles the lives of some of the patrons and employees of Rashid’s– renowned for having the “best smoke on Shuklaji Street”. This book has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and is therefore part of our BookerMarks collaborative. We’ve done the podcast (which you can listen to here) and have been singing Men At Work’s Down Under ever since! This will be another Jackie and Penny joint review.
Episode 4 is here! Listen in as we discuss Jeet Thayil’s novel Narcopolis (well, all of us except Penny who was on an out of control Canadian Thanksgiving bender).
In this episode Aaron contemplates using Google to view pictures of the junkless, Michelle wonders if the novel has impaired her judgement, Karli admits that she finds gender issues fascinating, Mike talks up the novel’s hidden musical Easter eggs, Elizabeth turns into a grammar narc(opolis), and Jackie can’t stop talking about the side effects that come from having your bing-bong removed at a young age.
We’ve almost reached the end of our podcasting adventure! Over next week we will record our final two episodes for the remaining titles that are short listed for the 2012 Man Booker award. Look for us to tackle Alison Moore’s The Lighthouse later this week.