The Booker judges surprised lots of readers by not including David Mitchell’s latest novel in the Man Booker 2010 shortlist. I sighed a small relief, being somewhat anxious that the book might be allocated to me in preparation for the Man Booker evening with Nottinghamshire libraries. I read David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas some time ago, and
found the book somewhat underwhelming – something I don’t generally like to admit to in company. Being the Russian doll of fiction, I found Cloud Atlas irksome in its succession of radically different styles of storytelling, and the links between the stories were at times tenuous and at others too subtle for me to take much notice of.
Naturally, I hoped I wouldn’t have to read The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, though I know it has proven to be incredibly popular, and Twitter is jam packed with complaints that it didn’t make the cut. So there’s the controversial decision out of the way.
I’m excited about the shortlist: all but Peter Carey are new authors to me, and there’s been a lot of excitement around Room. There is also a great variety of subject matter and of setting, so it looks to be a fascinating set. I hope I won’t regret the decision, but I’m aiming to have read the whole shortlist before our evening of discussion at Arnold Library. I’ll be blogging my progress as I go, but first, I need to get a hold of these books – amazon here I come!
With luck, all the panel will be blogging in the run up to our Man Booker evening here.