Posts tagged booker prize winner

The Sense of an Ending, explained

First, some background: last year I wrote a review of The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. I had a lot of comments from people who didn’t understand the ending, and since then I’ve been inundated with people searching for things like “Sense of an Ending explained”. I felt bad, because my original review didn’t really answer that question. So this post directly addresses the ending of the book and attempts to clear up any confusion. If you haven’t read the book and don’t want to know the end,… Read More

“The Sea” by John Banville

John Banville is a magnificent prose writer. I loved his earlier book Birchwood, so thought I would try out The Sea, which won him the Booker Prize in 2005. I liked it, but did feel a little bit disappointed. The writing was still beautiful. The blurb on the cover from the Daily Telegraph was not an overstatement: “They are like hits of some delicious drug, these sentences.” I really enjoyed the descriptions, the rhythm of the prose, the unusual words, the constant freshness of the language. The characters and plot,… Read More

“Last Orders” by Graham Swift

In a way, the plot of Last Orders is very simple: a group of friends drive to the coast to scatter the ashes of their friend Jack. Yes, that’s it. Along the way they have arguments and fights and endless pints of beer, but none of that is really the point. The real action of this book takes place in the past, appropriately enough for a novel about scattering ashes. These are old men remembering not only Jack but also their own former selves. There are lots of lies and… Read More

“The White Tiger” by Aravind Adiga

I didn’t like this book when I started it. Even when I was browsing it in the bookshop, I wasn’t that keen – I only bought it because it was half-price and it had won the Booker Prize. Surprising, then, that it ended up being one of the best books I’ve read in recent months. The style grated initially. It’s written as a series of letters from an Indian entrepreneur to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, and starts off full of stuff like “Let me tell you about my admiration for… Read More

“Life of Pi” by Yann Martel

I’ve heard good things about this book for ages, ever since it won the Booker Prize back in 2002, but for some reason I always resisted reading it. Perhaps it’s because I tend to prefer books that stay quite close to reality, and the premise of this one – a 16-year-old boy called Pi travels the Pacific in a lifeboat with a 450-pound Bengal tiger – sounded like the exact opposite. It’s a tall tale, almost deliberately unrealistic. Martel seems to take the absurdity of the premise as a challenge… Read More