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…)
Penny’s Rating: 4 Jackie’s Rating: 4 The Garden of Evening Mists A Novel by Tan Twan Eng 2012 / 350 Pages
Penny and Jackie will provide a joint review on The Garden of Evening Mists for the BookerMarks collaboration. Our BookerMarks podcast however for this title has already occurred and at its recording, Jackie had completed and Penny was only about 25% finished. Penny and Jackie have both rated the book 4 stars, and seemingly preferred it far more than the other BookerMarks judges.
Episode 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.