Podcast: And the winner is…

This week we discuss the winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize

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After some listen correspondence, we turn our attention to Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

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Episode 113. An Adventures With Words production.

3 Comments

  • rosario001

    Hi Rob and Kate, I really enjoyed your discussion, even though my feelings about several of the books were quite different. Of the 6, my favourite was definitely the Karen Joy Fowler, which I think I might have found more emotionally gripping that you did.

    I liked the Flanagan very much, too, but I thought the incredibly powerful sections on the Death Railway were somewhat marred by Dorrigo’s doomed love affair, which didn’t feel emotionally true to me. I felt very distanced and disengaged from those sections.

    I think the ones where I most disagree with you are the Ali Smith and the Howard Jacobson. They really didn’t work for me at all, and I abandoned them after reading fairly long chunks of them. In both of them the characters felt too stylised and false, as if the authors were much more interested in the ideas they were exploring than in creating characters who rang true.

    I wrote a long post with more detail about all the nominees that I managed to read, if you’re interested: Hi Rob and Kate, I really enjoyed your discussion, even though my feelings about several of the books were quite different. Of the 6, my favourite was definitely the Karen Joy Fowler, which I think I might have found more emotionally gripping that you did.

    I liked the Flanagan very much, too, but I thought the incredibly powerful sections on the Death Railway were somewhat marred by Dorrigo’s doomed love affair, which didn’t feel emotionally true to me. I felt very distanced and disengaged from those sections.

    I think the ones where I most disagree with you are the Ali Smith and the Howard Jacobson. They really didn’t work for me at all, and I abandoned them after reading fairly long chunks of them. In both of them the characters felt too stylised and false, as if the authors were much more interested in the ideas they were exploring than in creating characters who rang true.

    I wrote a long post with more detail about all the nominees that I managed to read, if you’re interested: http://rosario.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/man-booker-prize-2014.html

    • Adventures With Words

      That’s so interesting, Rosario – I love how people respond so differently to different books.
      I think we both really enjoyed WAACBO – I certainly loved spending time with the narrator, even though I knew she was manipulating me – but The Narrow Road to the Deep North just knocked my socks off. I know other people who’ve also not enjoyed the sections with Dorrigo and Amy but I guess I felt that I could sympathise with them, even though I didn’t approve of what they were doing. The prose in How To Be Both is definitely stylised but I enjoy reading unusual prose styles – it reminds me of poetry, how language can be more flexible than we think – but again, I know for some people that it can be distancing. I’ve not read J yet, but I think I’ll give it a try, although I’m less excited about that than the three I’ve read so far.
      Thanks so much for commenting! Kate

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