The anticipation levels for Bookerthon 2008 has fluctuated for us both. First of all our inability to pick a winner last year has frayed our nerves, plus the couple of massive tomes shortlisted this year meant we had to read at least 60 pages per day for five weeks. On the up side, we got to read more – onwards and upwards!
Again, as we judged the shortlisters, we have considered the following categories: readability, significance and style – whether or not that is in alignment with how the judges critique, we will never know …
This year, however, we did get to read six fantastic, albeit very different books.
A Fraction of the Whole is so incredibly laugh-out-loud funny and so unusual it would be a long shot for the prestigious Man Booker prize, though a deserved winner if the judges went in this direction.
The Secret Scripture is profound but touching and startling too and could be a strong contender to win. So too The Northern Clemency – a portrait of an era in an 800-page epic novel deserves some kudos.
The Clothes on Their Back is interesting and very readable though not as polished as the other five.
In the end, Suzy is choosing Sea of Poppies as her pick for winner, a historically significant and beautiful book.
Rachel is going for The White Tiger for its poignant and entertaining way of highlighting societal injustices.
Best book 1-6: Suzy:
Sea Of Poppies
Best book 1-6: Rachel:
The White Tiger
The Secret Scripture
A Fraction Of The Whole
Sea Of Poppies
The Northern Clemency
The Clothes On Their Back