The Testament of Mary

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 Shortlisted: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Arthur Brown, BALCO, Colum McCann, Fredrick Douglass, gender, George Mitchell, history, John Alcock, Let the Great World Spin, Major League Baseball, national book award, Northern Ireland, TransatlanticRating 3.5
The Lowland
A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri
2013 /352 Pages

I really wanted to like The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri.  I have had her novel The Namesake in my to read list for some time.  Interpreter of Maladies won the 2000 Pulitzer.  I was very much looking forward to reading this novel when it made the Man Booker long and short lists.

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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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The_Testament_of_Mary

Podcast #8: The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin

The_Testament_of_MaryIt’s shortlist time!  Are you as excited as we are?

What better way to kick things off then with a riveting discussion about religion, the bible, religion, Jesus, religion, Lazarus, religion, and Mary.  If this one doesn’t tear us apart then certainly nothing will, right?

In this episode Aaron sounds like he’s in a tunnel as he compares the book to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Mike eloquently expresses why he disliked the novel so much, Penny calls Jesus an asshole, Michelle’s dog snores REALLY loudly,  Karli searches for something more, and Jackie calls the book a “good thinker.”

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Why it Will Win: The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin

Why_It_Will_WinOver the course of the next eight days, leading up the Man Booker shortlist announcement on September 10th, each one of our eight bloggers will champion a different nominated title and explain Why it Will Win the coveted prize.

So as you probably already guessed from my review of The Testament of Mary, I have very mixed feelings about the book.  While I was certainly impressed with Tóibín’s attempt to present the mother of Christ in a more versatile and realistic light, I was ultimately disappointed by the one-dimensional Mary that emerges.  But even so, here are a few reasons why The Testament of Mary night take home the Man Booker Prize this year:

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