Customer Discussions > fiction discussion forum

Literary Awards


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-25 of 148 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Sep 2013 14:04:37 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
This is a spin-off from the 'fiction discussion' thread, where a few of us were discussing the Booker Prize shortlist announced yesterday. It is mainly for those readers who are interested in literary awards rather than the many who find them irrelevant, but nobody is barred from commenting.

This is the shortlist:
We Need New Names
The Luminaries
Harvest
The Lowland
A Tale for the Time Being
The Testament of Mary

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2013 14:26:41 BDT
I Readalot says:
Hi again, I'll copy my post over from the other thread as it is relevant, although part of it does relate to a book that didn't make the short list!

Hi Val, it has been a long time! Of the long-list I only read Testament of Mary, Harvest and The Kills, which I really enjoyed, it took a while to read though. One of the linking threads between the books involves 2 brothers who committed a murder, based on the plot from a book, a young writer writes a book based on the murder and this is then made into a film and then the author goes missing. The 3rd book 'The Kill' is about the murder and in the other books it gets mentioned because someone is reading the book or has seen the film. Definitely an experimental novel but not as difficult to read as I thought it would be. There are also extra's on line, audio and visual that you don't need to access as the novel stands alone but it does add an extra dimension to it. Unfortunately it didn't make the short list however!

I enjoyed Harvest but as has been mentioned, not really his best, I loved Testament of Mary but was very surprised when it made the long list, let alone the short. I have Tale for the Time Being in my to read pile, but other books have got in the way, (in particular Margaret Atwood's Maddaddam, and I wasn't disappointed with I) I will have to make time for it now, have heard good things about it.

Hopefully enough of us are interested in literary awards and there are a fair few of them. Once the Booker is over it won't be long before the Costa, then the Women's Fiction (old Orange Prize), also if we add genre awards there is Crime Fiction, Romantic Novelists, fantasy and sci-fi etc Should be enough to keep this thread going until the Booker comes around again!

Posted on 11 Sep 2013 14:51:12 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
I Readalot said:
In previous years we have had a Booker prize thread, started before the long list and continuing until after the winner was announced. Unfortunately any mention of the Booker attracts cries of pretension. Actually this years list has been really interesting with none of the usual suspects. The shortlist is due out on Tuesday, maybe I will risk starting a thread then. Actually I do like Shakespeare, studied about half a dozen of his plays and read most of the others over the years.

Ryan Williams said:
I don't think wanting to talk about Shakespeare or the Booker list is either pretentious or snobbish. By that logic, talking about nothing but crime, romance etc. is just as snobbish, yet rarely gets pointed out.
I hope Donal Ryan's The Spinning Heart makes the short list. Colm Toibin will probably win.

I Readalot said:
Jim Crace is currently the bookies favourite, I hope that The Spinning heart makes the short list as well. I know there was a bit of controversy about The Testament of Mary being included as it is so short. Apart from those 3 I expect The Kills to make the short list, a bit of a brick but I really enjoyed it, far more readable than I though it would be.

Ryan Williams said:
With Crace, I think it'll be yet another case of right author, wrong book. Being Dead and Quarantine would have both been deserving winners. (I should also point out that Vine gave me his last book for review - and I was seriously disappointed with the result.)
I never think the word 'controversial' seriously applies to the Booker list. Strip out one basic fact - people disagree about which books are better than others - and everything else evaporates.

I Readalot said:
Yea, think you could be right about Crace, especially as he announced (long before the Booker nomination) that Harvest would be his last book. I wouldn't like to be a Booker judge I am sure the element of compromise has to come into the final choice, I doubt if the decision is ever unanimous. At least this years list has been really diverse, reasonable male/female split, several nationalities, page length ranging from 100 to 1000 pages, variation in themes and subjects covered, established and debut authors. Last year Mantel's win was almost a foregone conclusion (not a fan myself), in spite of Crace being the favourite I think it is a bit more open this year.

Then there was some discussion about other things, after which I said:
I'm going to be pretentious and snobbish and talk about the Booker list, anyone care to join me?
Donal Ryan's "The Spinning Heart" unfortunately didn't make the short list, neither did Tash Aw's "Five Star Billionaire".
I would have included both and left Colm Toibin off the list. I enjoy his writing, but felt that "The Testament of Mary" was a very good short story padded out to make a novella.

Ethereal said:
Val, I've not seen you post here for some time, maybe the fiction forum will revive yet?
I'm ashamed to say I've not read any of these, in fact not looked at traditionally published books at all since I got my netbook (should I be ashamed, perhaps that's the wrong word!), I've wanted to give self-published books a try.
(Which also means I'm back on topic ... hmm, I use brackets too much, Stella will have a fit.)

I said:
If it does I will be posting here more often.
I have read seven from the long list and four from the short list. Some were kindle versions and others borrowed from the library. I have two more reserved at the library, the most popular two, so there was a queue.

gille liath said:
Val, can I ask as a favour that you follow I Readalot's suggestion and start a new thread about it?
and explained why.

I Byrne said:
I, too, am ashamed to say I have not read any of these books, but for the sake of the discussion I will try and get them from the library. I usually go for mysteries. If a book is too literary I find it a slog. So which one would you recommend for starters?
I'm reading a SP just now. I ususally alternate.

I said:
"The Luminaries" is built around a mystery, so you might like that one. It is very long, but it is not too literary in the difficult or experimental sense.
There is a mysterious figure in "Five Star Billionaire" as well, although that didn't make the short list.
None of the ones I have read so far are difficult or experimental. Perhaps that makes it a 'safe' list. There are some very well written good reads. You could just see which ones the library has available and give them a whirl.

I Readalot said:
Hi Val, it has been a long time! Of the long-list I only read Testament of Mary, Harvest and The Kills, which I really enjoyed, it took a while to read though. One of the linking threads between the books involves 2 brothers who committed a murder, based on the plot from a book, a young writer writes a book based on the murder and this is then made into a film and then the author goes missing. The 3rd book 'The Kill' is about the murder and in the other books it gets mentioned because someone is reading the book or has seen the film. Definitely an experimental novel but not as difficult to read as I thought it would be. There are also extra's on line, audio and visual that you don't need to access as the novel stands alone but it does add an extra dimension to it. Unfortunately it didn't make the short list however!
I enjoyed Harvest but as has been mentioned, not really his best, I loved Testament of Mary but was very surprised when it made the long list, let alone the short. I have Tale for the Time Being in my to read pile, but other books have got in the way, (in particular Margaret Atwood's Maddaddam, and I wasn't disappointed with I) I will have to make time for it now, have heard good things about it.

I Byrne said:
I just had a peek inside 'Testament of Mary' Lovely writing. Maybe I'll go for it next instead of the other. I like to vary my reading material, and love a well written book - (as long as it isn't too long winded. Then I grow bored after a bit.)

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2013 15:00:12 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
Sorry I Readalot, I was in the middle of a copy-and-paste of relevant posts.
I was hoping there might be enough other awards around to keep it going.

I haven't read "The Kills", although it is one I hope to get around to sometime. There are a couple of very long books on the list and the library does not allow renewals on new books, so I decided to leave that one until I can buy it at a reasonable price.
We would all have slightly different shortlists I think, even given the books on the long list.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2013 16:28:06 BDT
Wayfarer says:
I've only read Harvest and Testament of Mary, I must admit I don't often find books I like on the Booker list, but often seem to have read and enjoyed most on the Orange prize (I can never remember that it's been renamed).

I was surprised that Harvest had been chosen, especially after Quarantine had missed out. I enjoyed it, but thought it wasn't as good as his previous works. I really did like Testament, and was surprised but pleased to see it made the list.

Does anyone buy books just because they've made the list, or won an award? I noticed that most on the list have shot up the bestseller charts. Personally, I don't, as I have often been disappointed by the big award winners.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2013 16:42:03 BDT
I Readalot says:
There were some long ones, and some very short ones this year, when I decided to read The Kills I knew that I wouldn't read that many of the long list.

I just checked for the CWA Daggers a lot of the awards have been made already but the presentation ceremony is on 24th October and the following winners will be announced:

the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger:
Belinda Bauer for Rubbernecker (Bantam/Transworld)
Lauren Beukes for The Shining Girls (HarperCollins)
Mick Herron for Dead Lions (Soho Crime)
Becky Masterman for Rage Against the Dying (Orion)

For the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger:
Roger Hobbs for Ghostman (Transworld)
Stuart Neville for Ratlines (Random House)
Mark Oldfield for The Sentinel (Head of Zeus)
Robert Wilson for Capital Punishment (Orion)

For the CWA John Creasey Dagger: (New writer)
Hanna Jameson for Something You Are (Head of Zeus)
Malcolm Mackay for The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter (Mantle)
Derek B Miller for Norwegian by Night (Faber and Faber)
Thomas Mogford for Shadow of the Rock (Bloomsbury)

Thought it worth mentioning as there may be a few posters who aren't into the Booker but might join in with crime . I really enjoyed The Shining Girls so am glad to see that on the list.

Glad to see a proper fiction discussion again, the 'What are you reading now' thread is the only one that has survived for any length of time.

Posted on 11 Sep 2013 16:56:40 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
I'm hoping the thread will stay around long enough for next year's Orange / Bailey's / Women's Fiction / Whatever Prize, Wayfarer. I have recently finished reading this year's winner May We Be Forgiven and it is really good.

I am more likely to read a book that won a literary award or made the published lists, but I get most of them from the library.
Sales do usually increase for those that have won, though literary novels very rarely become massive bestsellers.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2013 17:08:15 BDT
Wayfarer says:
I enjoyed May We Be Forgiven too. I used to get all my books from the library or secondhand bookshops, but since buying a kindle I seem to get more kindle books than anything else.

I've just realised there are a few awards that I do use as a guarantee that I'll like the winners, that's the Hugo and Nebula awards for science fiction. I can't think of one Hugo winner that I haven't liked.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2013 17:10:35 BDT
Wayfarer says:
I do read a lot of crime novels, but seem to stick to favourite authors. So many books, so little time....

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2013 17:20:30 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
Ratlines is the only one of those I have read and the 'gripping' tag was correctly applied in that instance. It was not perfect, but it did keep me reading until the small hours, in spite of having to get up three hours later. I will add The Shining Girls to the TBR list.

Fans of the Golden Dagger, Hugo, Nebula and any other genre awards are also welcome, even fans of the Samuel Johnson Award (which should not be fiction).

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2013 17:27:22 BDT
I Readalot says:
The cry of all avid readers!

Val, too true about literary novels rarely becoming massive best sellers. The only 2 Booker listed novels that seem to have sold consistently are Cloud Atlas (which didn't win) and Life of Pi (which did), okay there are the 2 Mantel's, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies but they would have sold anyway.

Posted on 11 Sep 2013 17:36:53 BDT
I am not really sure I fancy any of the shortlist this year, apart from maybe The Luminaries. But to be honest, I have so many other books already to be read that I wasn't looking too closely as I don't need anything else to read just now. I am always interested in looking at the prize lists though, it is a good way of hearing about books I might not otherwise have seen.

Posted on 11 Sep 2013 17:53:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Sep 2013 17:54:24 BDT
monica says:
I know it's a lost cause but I'm giving a link anyway to discussion of some contenders for my favourite fiction award:

http://www.rochester.edu/College/translation/threepercent/index.php?s=btb

Wonderful to see you posting again, Val.

Posted on 11 Sep 2013 20:02:34 BDT
Ethereal says:
I'm not grabbed by any of the synopses on the shortlist, I might check out the longlist when I've time, though as I said, I've a number of SP books waiting and not had time to read much lately.
So I might wait for the next Prize, I thoroughly enjoyed Monique Roffey's Orange shortlisted The White Woman on the Green Bicycle a few years ago, for instance. It could be interesting to compare the SP books I'll have read by then with an award contender!

As an aside, it struck me as I was looking at the above books just now how quickly I've got used to the much cheaper prices of the SP ebooks, not sure that's a good thing.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2013 20:30:59 BDT
I Readalot says:
Val, Shining Girls is a bit different, a time travelling serial killer novel, somehow it works!

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2013 20:34:00 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Sep 2013 20:34:48 BDT
I Readalot says:
I took a look at that site monica and have actually read one of the books 'The Fire Witness', my proof copy doesn't have a hammer on the cover though, it is a bit more gruesome.

Hopefully we will get a few more people returning.

Posted on 12 Sep 2013 09:30:15 BDT
Catherine says:
'the testament of Mary' is the only one which draws me.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Sep 2013 10:05:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Sep 2013 10:07:10 BDT
I Readalot says:
Karen, I read on average 2 books a week and I have enough between my physical books and those I have downloaded to keep me going to the end of the year! We are coming up to super Thursday as well, the day in October when publishing goes mad ready for Christmas. I really have to keep an eye on awards lists for work but it is interesting to know what's going on as a reader a well.

One award I take particular interest in is the CWA International Dagger, this year won for the 4th time by Fred Vargas, okay this time she shared it, for some reason she still hasn't broken through in the UK. Her books are definitely different to most of the crime around, with a lot of black humour.

PS Looks like someone objects to us having a fiction discussion in the fiction forum - Return of the Phantom Negger!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Sep 2013 14:24:46 BDT
How very bizarre I Readalot, some people have nothing better to do I expect. I should be applying for jobs, better stop procrastinating.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Sep 2013 17:06:27 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
It is wonderful to see that so many of the posters I remember are still here.

monica, I have not read any of the books mentioned in that discussion unfortunately, but I have read enough books in translation to know that a good translation makes all the difference to whether the book comes to life or not.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Sep 2013 17:11:20 BDT
VCBF (Val) says:
I liked "The Testament of Mary" and think he writes well, but I didn't think there was enough to it to make a novel.
I can't see your 'fiction discussion' thread any more, has it been deleted?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2013 08:37:24 BDT
Steven says:
I wonder if the Jim Crace selection is more down to sentiment rather than the actual book as this is going to be his last one and he's missed out before.
Some interesting books on the list which I'm planning to read. :)

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2013 08:51:32 BDT
Steven says:
I'm looking forward to reading 'the luminaries' but hoping the price will come down on kindle before I pick it up.
I readalot, thanks for mention Fred Vargas reminder, I believe you've mention those books before and I meant to check them out so thanks for the reminder. :)

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2013 09:02:28 BDT
Catherine says:
Guess it has. I started it because we were discussing things on Stella's thread that she didn't like and writers were accused of 'taking over' because we were discussing the benefits of sites like Awesome Indies. Someone even referred to the 'Lunatics have taken over the asylum' I thought I would move as she wanted to talk about bicycles and nothing to do fiction, and she was the OP after all. However, since my thread was used for a couple of people to personally insult each other, it died, and the discussion about Indies by both writers and readers, seems to have waved back over to Stella's.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2013 09:46:48 BDT
I Readalot says:
S Morris, I have definitely mentioned Vargas before :) Her novels are informed by her 'day job' as an archaeologist. Chalk Circle Man is the first one in the series, although it wasn't published in English first, that honour went to Have Mercy on Us All, which was the first one I read and it got me hooked.
‹ Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


More Customer Discussions

Most active community forums
Most active product forums

Amazon forums
 

This discussion

Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  148
Initial post:  11 Sep 2013
Latest post:  7 Dec 2014

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 4 customers

Search Customer Discussions