Posts tagged booker shortlist

“Half Blood Blues” by Esi Edugyan

This book has it all: a compelling story, a great setting (black jazz musicians in Nazi Germany and occupied Paris), lyrical prose that perfectly captures the voice of the bass-player narrator, Baltimore-born Sid Griffiths, while also weaving in elements of the music it describes. It has jealousy, betrayal, a nice twist in the ending, and yet… I liked the book a lot, but I didn’t love it. When I describe it I feel as if I should have loved it, been truly blown away by it, but I wasn’t. I… Read More

“The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes

Update: In response to some of the comments on this review, I have written a newer post that explains the ending. I bought a signed copy at Highgate Bookshop, took it home and read it from cover to cover without stopping. That’s partly because it’s a short book (150 pages, with fairly large type and liberal use of white space) but also because it really drew me in and made me want to read more. The clever thing about the book is that much of it is quite abstract musing… Read More

“Netherland” by Joseph O’Neill

The narrative style was very interesting in this book. In the present, Hans van den Broek is at home with his wife Rachel in London, receiving a phone call to say that his old friend Chuck Ramkissoon has been found murdered in New York. The novel is written more or less as Hans would have thought about Chuck after that phone call – in a jumble of memories, chronologically haphazard and leaping from one anecdote to another more by association than logic. Surprisingly, it works very well. Even though the… Read More