So, The 2015 Booker Prize is awarded tonight. I arrive at this date having finished four of the six short-list novels.
Hanya Yanagihara (US) – A Little Life
Anne Tyler (US) – A Spool of Blue Thread
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) – The Fishermen
Tom McCarthy (UK) – Satin Island
The Bookies have it as a three way race with early favourite Yanagihara, just ahead of the two books I haven’t read:
Sunjeev Sahota (UK) – The Year of the Runaways, and
Marlon James (Jamaica) – A Brief History of Seven Killings
Typically, the Booker goes to something I haven’t read at the time of the award, so it would seem a good bet that Sahota or James will win.
Of the four I have read, which would I choose?
Quite a difficult choice. Yanagihara’s book is certainly impressive, but it also lacks an overall believability; Tyler’s is faultless for over three quarters of its length but suffers structurally and also seems to lack that certain something that makes her very best work stand out; and McCarthy’s is one of those marvelous self knowing ‘literary’ novels designed to delight and annoy in equal measure.
I’d love Tyler to win. My heart wants her name to be the one read out this evening. My head wants McCarthy’s read out. He’s the bookie’s outsider. I like his invention, his playfulness and his humour. However, if Yanagihara’s book carries the day, I won’t be too disappointed. She is an undoubted talent and the positives from her book by far outweigh the negatives. So, the winner is Marlon James – A Brief History of Seven Killings then …