Warwickshire Super Reader’s Group met on Monday 16th October, at Kenilworth library, to discuss the Man Booker shortlisted books, and to vote on their favourite.
They have all read the 6 books over 5 weeks—a remarkable achievement. Below are thoughts from the group about each book and a link to the library catalogue if you would like to try giving them a go yourself.
The Warwickshire Winner is Mohsin Hamid for Exit West
“This is a contemporary tale, with displacement and refugees at it’s heart It is a love sory, but unsentimental. The group thought it could become a classic, in time. A very readable book.”
The official Man Booker winner is George Saunders for Lincoln in the Bardo
“This is the second time an American writer has captured the award. It is an unusual tale concerning the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son, who is in the “bardo”- a period of limbo between life and death. Other spirits are there, and the book takes each of their voices, in a dramatic scenario, reminiscent of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milkwood.”
The group considered this a well-written book, which worked best when read aloud. Would not appeal to everyone.
The other short-listed books are as follows :
Paul Auster 4321
“This is a huge book, and considered almost 4 books in one. It concerns four lives of the same person, and the twists and calibrations of the stories are complex. It is reminiscent (but not as good) as Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life.”
Emily Fridlund History of Wolves
“A novel about isolation and belonging. Strange and unpleasant at times. This was not a favourite of the group.”
Fiona Mozley Elmet
“This is a novel embedded in it’s landscape. ( Elmet is a small hamlet) It concerns a dysfunctional family with a deep underlying threat of violence.
Again, a strange book, without general appeal.”
Ali Smith Autumn
“The first of a series of novels on the Seasons. The book is cleverly written, sparky, and often funny. Considered a post-Brexit novel, whatever that means!
The group liked it for it’s poetry, thoughtfulness, and breadth.”
Do try some of these books and let us know what you think. They are the “talked-about” books of the moment. Join in the conversation.
If you would like to join the Super Readers reading group, contact email@example.com for more details.