Man Booker Short List Out

The short list is out for the Man Booker Prize 2008 and it's rather a surprising one.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Atlantic)
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (Faber & Faber)
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (John Murray)
The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant (Virago)
The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher (Fourth Estate)
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (Hamish Hamilton)

I'm a bit surprised that Rushdie's the Enchantress of Florence wasn't in there; it's turned out to be my favourite Rushdie.

But I'm not too bothered though as I'd already decided that 'Sea of Poppies' by Amitav Ghosh was my favourite so far (I've finished 5 of the Booker Long List but have recently been distracted from my mission to read the whole long list by the announcement of the winner in October by Roy Jenkins' biography of Asquith).

Sea of Poppies is classic Ghosh a wonderful swirling saga with great plot and wholly realistic and generally quite likeable characters. It's going to be the first of the Ibis Trilogy and I'm glad to here Ghosh has already started working on the second!

The only other off the short list that I have already read is Linda Grant with a book well worth its place on the short list. If it wasn't for Sea of Poppies it would have been my favourite of the five I have read.

Right, Roy and Herbert are going to have to take back seat for a bit, whilst I polish off the other 4 novels on the short list. I think I'll start with Sebastian Barry. Tonight.


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