Booker prize meme

Inspired by

 and the Pulitzer Prize meme a similar endeavour for the Booker Prize (the links are all via the Booker Prize website   and give a little more information on each year’s nominees.

The rules (from the Pulitzer meme) bold the ones you’ve read, strike-out the ones you hated, italics for those started but unfinished, and asterisks beside the ones you loved.

I should note that if I’m not enjoying something I usually give up on it rather than go through to the bitter end which may explain the plethora of italics.


2006 – Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
2005John Banville, The Sea (not as good as some of his previous novels, I think)
2004Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty * 
2003DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
2002Yann Martel, Life of Pi *
2001 – Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang
2000Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
1999J M Coetzee, Disgrace *
1998Ian McEwan, Amsterdam (I can’t describe how much I hate this book.  The McEwan from The Comfort of Strangers and A CHild in Time that I had loved, wins for this frippery, a slight novel more reminiscent of a bad Roald Dahl inspired (but not adapted) Tale of the Unexpected.  A turning point in McEwan’s writing, where his research becomes more and more prominent.  I persevered because  (a) it was short; and (b) I’d loved his work until that point.  Since then I’ve given up on Saturday (where he wore his research heavily) and didn’t particularly enjoy Atonement.  On Chesil Beach sits by my bedside, but i’ve been put off since it was photographed in the hands of Aardman’s own David Cameron).
1997 – Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
1996 – Graham Swift, Last Orders
1995Pat Barker, The Ghost Road * (I probably loved it because it comes at the end of an excellent trilogy)
1994James Kelman, How Late It Was, How Late *
1993Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
1992Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient  and Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger (joint winners)
1991Ben Okri, The Famished Road
1990A S Byatt, Possession
1989Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day (persuaded to read it by a friend whose taste I valued (hence my finishing it), I found this an exercise in ventriloquism and unengaging.  I didn’t like the film either).
1988Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda
1987 – Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
1986 – Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils
1985Keri Hulme, The Bone People (I don’t even know why I started this.  To impress someone I think.
1984 – Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
1983J M Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K 
1982Thomas Keneally, Schindler’s Ark
1981Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children (I feel quite ambivalent about Midnight’s Children.  I admire it but do not love it.  I enjoyed The Satanic Verses (complete with misunderstood reference to the Pertwee story The Mutants) and Shame far more).
1980William Golding, Rites of Passage *
1979 – Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore
1978 – Iris Murdoch, The Sea, the Sea
1977Paul Scott, Staying On
1976 – David Storey, Saville
1975Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust
1974 – Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist and Stanley Middleton, Holiday (joint winners)
1973 – J G Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
1972John Berger, G.
1971 – V S Naipaul, In a Free State
1970 – Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member
1969 – P H Newby, Something to Answer For

About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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3 Responses to Booker prize meme

  1. shaz_rte says:

    I’ve read 15 of them, including The Bone People. Um, I must be one of the few people in the universe who enjoyed it :o) Never finished Vernon God Little, or Life of Pi. And the latter has become an insult in the rather eclectic book group I go to: “Oh, they’re just the sort of book group who’d read Life of Pi!” I have yet to finish any book by Peter Carey!
    Amsterdam made me so angry I heaved it against a wall. My theory is that the judges reckoned McEwan should have won for one of his earlier books, so this was a guilt choice. I’ve never read any of his stuff since.
    Midnight’s Children blew me away when I read it, but I’ve never dared to re-read it. And I agree Shame is better.
    The Line of Beauty was OK, but The Swimming Pool Library is better.

    • Completely agree that The Swimming Pool library is better than The Line of Beauty. I fancied rereading it after reading The Long Firm- as the differing perspectives make an interesting contrast – but too many book, too little time.
      I think The Life of Pi is a fable, quite like Golding’s early novels, where the symbolism is occasionally heavy-handed. However, I found it quite charmingly told, and it reminded me of Pincher Martin in the change of gear in the final chapter, completely turning the book. I don’t know if I’d reread it though.
      My friend who recommended The Bone People also recommended Peter Carey’s early novels. They remain on the shelf, unread – the spine not even slightly creased. I finished with The Bone People when it became apparent she was seeing someone else đŸ˜‰

  2. shaz_rte says:

    I have half an idea in my poor over-loaded old brain for a conferenc paper on Hollinghurst and Arnott. I’m intrigued by the way the latter treads the boundaries between crime fiction and true crime. And of course real people make fleeting appearances in TSPL and TLOB as well . . . ;o)
    My brother, whose reading tastes only overlap mine slightly, loves Peter Carey’s books, but has never finished The Bone People either!

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