OK, I need to quit moping about the low number of Man Booker longlist books available in the United States and start reading.
Here’s what we’ve decided to read thus far, and the order in which we will read them:
Not providing a longer list is a stall tactic, while we anticipate the MASSIVE CLOUT of my MIGHTY BLOG will SHAME THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY into setting these books free in the United States. We are also arguing about whether we will buy the few physical books one can quaintly send away for, but which are unavailable for download.
You’ll notice Bring Up the Bodies is not yet on our list. Expect it to show up as late as we can push it. Dan Campbell and I have both read it already, so I want to wait until the last possible minute before rereading it.
Now onto …
NARCOPOLIS by Jeet Thayil
Is there a trend here? Aren’t there a growing number of books about India? I can easily think of a half dozen I’ve read in recent years, most recently the nonfiction narrative by Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. And did you notice the number of Man Booker winners with Indian themes or about India, including the Best Man Booker Winner of All Time as Decided by a Prestigious Panel of Judges?
- White Tiger by Aravind Adiga: The deliciously sardonic and dark (too many modifiers?) tale of an Indian businessman whose climb to success starts when he crushes the head of his former employer and makes off with a bag of cash. This was the 2008 Man Booker winner. And it was Adiga’s first novel.
- The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai, winner of the 2006 Man Booker Prize.
- Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie — 1981 Man Booker Winner, and then TWICE winner of the Booker of Bookers in 1993 and 2008, marking the prize’s 25th and 40th anniversaries.
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, the 1997 winner.
Not that the winner’s list of past years predicts anything … but I had to laugh when Jake Goretzki tweeted yesterday, “My tip for a dead cert #ManBookerPrize victory? Call your novel ‘The Sea, the Sea, the Sea.”