Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Booker Night in the City of Culture

So, it was announced last night that Julian Barnes won the 2011 Man Booker Award. Not a huge surprise to the bookies who had him pegged as the favourite. For the first time this year, I read all six of the shortlisted books and if it were up to me (stranger things have happened) I'd have gone for Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch with Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan and The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt coming in at joint second place. I know that Garbhan Downey, Kate Newmann and Kevin Quinn would disagree with me, but hey, they disagreed with each other as well.

As per the previous CSNI post, I attended the Derry Central Library annual Booker event having blagged my way onto a spot on the panel. Another great learning experience that allowed me to witness how something like this should be done and then try to imitate and hope nobody sent me home under a hail of No Alibis-supplied Booker tomes. It was all right on the night, though, and I realised that I can be politely disagreeable without resorting to name-calling. Should be a given to most decent people but it's an achievement for me.

Thanks to Kevin Quinn who organised and moderated the event and seeya later to the panelists, novelist, Garbhan Downey and poet, Kate Newmann.

If time allows, I'll post some thoughts on each of the shortlisted novels over the next few weeks.


Michael Stone said...

I need to broaden my reading horizons, and might well have a look-see at some of the titles mentioned here. Look forward to hearing what you made of 'em.

Gerard Brennan said...

I think you'd like Jamrach, mate. You've the patience for epics. Maybe give Half Blood Blues a go as well. It's a cracker.