Hit and Run
Flawed views

Books I haven’t read

How many Booker Prize winning books do you own?  How many have you actually read?

I can’t be the only person who buys them and then either gives up after a few pages or never quite gets round to even starting them.

I started reading Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang (which won in 2001) but found it intensely annoying, and I also hated Tim Parks’ Europa (which was shortlisted in 1997), though I greatly enjoyed his later Dreams of Rivers and Seas, which wasn’t nominated, and also his non-fiction.

I bought the hardback of Graham Swift’s Last Orders (winner in 1996) because I had read and enjoyed several of his earlier works, but somehow I haven’t got round to this one.

I nearly bought Yann Martel’s Life of Pi for my Kindle when it was reduced to 99 cents at the end of last year (as the Kindle Deal of the Day), but it wasn’t available for customers in Asia Pacific.  It turned out that I had bought the paperback and not read it.  So I did read it, and very good it was too.  There’s a film coming out soon.

I have a paperback copy of last year’s winner (Julian Barnes - The Sense of an Ending) but I haven’t read that either.

But I have read Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall which won in 2009. I even bought the sequel Bring up the bodies before it was nominated, and this week it was announced that it has won the Booker Prize.  Success.


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I've read all 15 of the god damn Booker winners (including the "The Lost Booker" of 1970) that were worth reading and have enjoyed every god damn one of them. God damn. Even the ones I didn't enjoy, I enjoyed because they'd won the Booker and I'd read them. God damn.

Oscar and Lucinda was good. Hi Kelly story, not so much. Midnight's Children, brilliant. I didn't understand it, so obviously it was brilliant. The Ghost Road, good. Others, also good.

Sense Of An Ending (not so good) won last year because, christ, look at what it was up against.

Doris Lessing should have won something for the best title of a Booker nominated novel - Briefing For A Descent Into Hell. Awesome.

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