Archive for August, 2016

Do Not Say You Were Not Told

Me again, sorry. I know, I know, nothing for six months then three blog posts in a fortnight – I should show more respect for the maintenance of headway.

I just want to clarify something. Last week, my instincts were that the longlist featured so many “also-rans” (books that aren’t remotely likely to win) because the judges already knew what their winner was going to be. I just failed to see what that winner was. I wondered whether it might be JM Coetzee’s new novel – an unknown quantity not due to be published until September (now brought forward to August 18th), but while looking deeper into the list, everything fell into place.

One book ticks all the boxes, rings all the right bells, and sparks like a firecracker: the subject matter, the excellent reviews, and the brilliant style exhibited by an extract which reminded me of The Last Samurai (superficially at least, but you know how it is with blogging – any excuse to plug one of your favourite books). A book I didn’t think I was interested in, which I am now excited about.

So I want to make it clear that Madeleine Thien is not an also-ran. In fact I will go to the foot of our stairs if Do Not Say We Have Nothing doesn’t win. I haven’t been this convinced about a potential Booker winner since Wolf Hall in 2009.

Something else I see in my crystal ball is the Bookies whining about rumours and betting patterns as more and more people read it, as happened with Wolf Hall. Earlier today the silly sods at Paddy Power were offering the silly odds of 25-1 – although those odds have now shrunk a little.

You can read the first chapter at the Granta website: http://granta.com/do-not-say-extract/

August 3, 2016 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment


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