John Alcock

Booker_Conversations

2013 Booker Conversations: TransAtlantic by Colum McCann

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, Michelle Williams, and Mike Cohen partake in an in-depth spoiler-free discussion about Colum McCann’s novel TransAtlantic.

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.

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.

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

Colum McCann’s Man Booker Prize longlisted novel TransAtlantic blends historical fact with fiction as it ambitiously attempts to document just how profound an effect our past actions can have our future.

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Transatlantic

2013 Longlisted: TransAtlantic by Colum McCann #3

TransatlanticRating: 3
TransAtlantic
By Colum McCann
2013 / 304 Pages

Shut out the lights on the world below

The past, as they say, is most often written by those who are victorious. At first blush, by fictionalizing a number of historically consequential voices and weaving them into his narrative, National Book Award winning author Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin) appears to buying into the this notion with much verve. However the further that his Man Booker Prize longlisted novel TransAtlantic progresses, the more clear it becomes that McCann is only interested in these prominent figures as a set of high profile glue sticks whose value lies in their ability to help paste together a much more ambitious, socially conscious narrative detailing the plight of Northern Ireland and the unheard voices of the common folk who endured throughout these turbulent years. The resulting story is extremely poignant at times, yet woefully stodgy at others.

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