Monday, 7 November 2011

We deal in lead, friend

Each year, my book group chooses a book from the Booker shortlist - we pick before the winner is announced, and with an eye to an interesting read rather than trying to pre-empt the judges.

This year, we went for The Sister's Brothers. It was refreshingly different from our normal reads in its focus on a relationship between men, a masculine point of view and a male author, and most of the group found it readable and enjoyable. 

Those people who'd been brought up watching westerns 'on a Saturday afternoon, while your mum did the ironing and you were pairing socks' enjoyed it much more than others (and maybe it says something about the target audience that most of the quotes on the back cover are from authors of other westerns). We had a good debate about whether the book had 'literary merit' in its innovative characters and black comedy. Although I quite enjoyed Eli's narrative, with its emphatically partial view of the world, I'm not convinced it should have made the Booker shortlist. 

I've already read and loved Jamrach's Menagerie, and quite enjoyed Snowdrops (though again, great story not sure it had the lasting impact that I'd expect from a Booker candidate). I normally try to read the whole shortlist - any suggestions for what next?

Quote is Steve McQueen in the Magnificent Seven (1960)

No comments:

Post a Comment