Bookermarks: 2013 Edition

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.


Book Review: 2012 Long Listed: Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis (Review #6)

Rating: 3.5
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…)

Book Review: Shortlisted: Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis (Reviews #4 & #5)

 Jackie’s Rating: 3
 Penny’s Rating: 3
 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.


Podcast #4: Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis

NarcopolisEpisode 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.


Podcast #3: Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists

The_Garden_Of_Evening_MistsEpisode 3 is in the can and this time out we gathered online to discuss Tan Twan Eng’s novel The Garden of Evening Mists (well, all of us except Mike who was a no show, on Skype, but refusing to answer).

In this episode Aaron compares the quality of the novel to Aomame’s breasts, Michelle wonders if Japanese kamikaze pilots adhere to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, Karli considers the novel to be a tedious journey, Penny goes all Umbrella on us and talks about her gorgeous Penang catalog, Elizabeth searches Google for inappropriate tattoos, and Jackie chimes in near the end after fixing her dad’s computer to rehash everything we’ve already covered.

We’re now halfway through our podcasting adventure!  Over next several weeks well continue podcasting about the three remaining titles that are short listed for the 2012 Man Booker award. Look for us to tackle Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis early next week.