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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2012 Man Booker Shortlist announced and The Garden of Evening Mists is on it! (by Liviu Suciu)


Today the 2012 Man Booker Shortlist has been announced and I was really happy to see Tan Twan Eng's second novel, The Garden of Evenings Mists (FBC Rv) on it in addition to the inevitable Bring Up the Bodies, the truly awful Umbrella, the "not my cup of tea" Narcopolis and two novels I have not checked yet in Swimming Home (just got a copy and will try next) and The Lighthouse (I read the Amazon extract so far and I have not yet decided if/when I will try the book as it was of the "maybe in the right mood" kind, but secrets are trumpeted in the blurb and I love secrets in a book!). 


Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books)
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home (And Other Stories/Faber & Faber)
Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies (Fourth Estate)
Alison Moore, The Lighthouse (Salt)
Will Self, Umbrella (Bloomsbury)
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis (Faber & Faber)

While I regret that my second favorite novel of the longlist (of which I tried all novels minus the two mentioned above, though I read end to end only four as two - Umbrella and Skios - were really bad and the rest four were not interesting enough), Ned Beauman's darkly funny The Teleportation Accident (FBC Rv) has not been shortlisted, I never really expected to see it there, nor The Garden of Evening Mists for that matter.

Of course the odds are that the inevitable Bring Up the Bodies will win and indeed it is quite a good book, but a little bit too sterile and with a sense of being written to win awards rather than "live" in contrast to the sprawling but excellent Wolf Hall (FBC Rv).

One of my top three books of the year for now and with a chance for vaulting at #1 depending on how it and the competition will wear until December, The Garden of Evening Mists is just awesome and I am really happy to see it getting a well deserved recognition!

2 comments:

vikzreadsthebooker said...

I am really glad that "the garden of evening mists" is on the list. I have also read 'swimming home' and I loved it. I am really disappointed that 'teleportation accident' is not on the list. I gave up on Umbrella.

Liviu said...

I just read Swimming Home last night (quite short after all) and loved it too; not at the level of Garden or Teleportation, but a very "live" book that kept me turning the pages - as for the Booker itself, I saw that some people believe Umbrella will win as a sort of "lifetime appreciation" book like the mediocre Jacobson of two years ago, but will see - some people like the exclamation points and all capitals thrown everywhere and think a sign of sophistication, for me it is a sign of derangement...

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