What will you be reading this autumn?

What will you be reading this autumn?
“BOOKER NOVEL OR BLOCKBUSTER ?”

By: Graham Salter

reading books

On October 16th we found out the winner of the Man Booker prize. Look down the list of previous prizewinners and you will find some impressive titles: “Remains of the Day”, “Schindler’s Ark”, “The English Patient”, “Wolf Hall”, “The God of Small Things” and, of course “Midnight’s Children.”

To give a little extra piquancy to their choice, a debate had been swirling round the Booker over the last two years, over the dreaded issue of “dumbing down”. In 2011 the panel, featuring retired spymaster Stella Rimington and Labour MP Chris Mullin, declared that “readability” was to be the new keynote; “the winning novel will have to zip along”. Away with fusty ideas like literary merit, they seemed to say, we want a page-turner. Unsurprisingly, the 2012 jury have rowed back a bit from last year’s stance. Their shortlist includes ambitious (though hopefully not pretentious) titles such as “Umbrella” by Will Self, and “Bring up the bodies” by Hilary Mantel, so it’s clear that we are not in “Richard and Judy Book Club” territory this year. http://www.oxfordprospect.co.uk/What-will-you-be-reading-this-autumn.html

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