Tag Archives: fiction

An Orchestra of Minorities — Chigozie Obioma

An Orchestra of Minorities is a gorgeous book and is, so far, my preferred choice for the prize this year (I should caveat this by saying that I am only 100 pages into Ducks, Newburyport which I strongly suspect is … Continue reading

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The Long Take — Robin Robertson

While I don’t think it will win, I am really glad that The Long Take made the shortlist. This year’s longlist contained two books using less conventional media: Sabrina was a mediocre graphic novel and The Long Take is largely … Continue reading

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The Mars Room — Rachel Kushner

OK, I realise I’m starting to sound like a broken record. I disliked Milkman but from then on my opinion on the shortlisted books I’ve talked about has pretty much been “yeah… they’re good, but could have been better”. I’m … Continue reading

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Everything Under — Daisy Johnson

Everything Under was a difficult book to form an opinion of. A re-imagining of the Oedipus story, Johnson follows a lexicographer, Sarah, and her attempt to find her mother who abandoned her as a child. She intertwines this with stories … Continue reading

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Washington Black — Esi Edugyan

I have mixed feelings about Washington Black. The story is really good: Washington Black (Wash), a slave on a Barbados plantation, is selected as personal servant to the brother of the owner. A friendship grows between the two of them, … Continue reading

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Elmet — Fiona Mozley

Elmet is Fiona Mozley’s first novel and it’s gorgeously written. Centered around a reclusive family of three (a father and two children) and told through the eyes of the younger child, Mozley constructs a family whose place in modern society … Continue reading

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Exit West — Mohsin Hamid

This is Mohsin Hamid’s second nomination for the Man Booker and his first, The Reluctant Fundamentalist left me somewhat underwhelmed. Fortunately, Exit West is a significant step up in terms of quality. The book tells the story of Saeed and … Continue reading

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The Bottle Factory Outing — Beryl Bainbridge

Let me begin by saying that this is a clever book. It’s filled with the understated prose, closely observed characters and slightly twisted humour that Bainbridge does well. That the book did little for me should not detract from that. … Continue reading

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Hot Milk — Deborah Levy

In Hot Milk, Sofia, our narrator, has abandoned a doctorate in anthropology to care for her mother, Rose, whose legs are failing her. They are visiting a coastal area of southern Spain to attend a clinic run by a Doctor … Continue reading

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The Sellout — Paul Beatty

I don’t know if this is because more are being written, or if it’s simply that more are coming across my radar, but I am increasingly seeing books (and very good ones at that) explicitly dealing with issues of race … Continue reading

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