The Booker Prize in the Midwest - or the Midlands, if you like - is like a pointless reality show where couples race cross-country in an energy-wasting SUV and then jump out at 13 random wasteland independent bookstores to perform pointless tasks, in this case reading a lot of long-listed Booker books. We eliminate what we can, and quickly, so as to spare the public.
And what we say is our FINAL ANSWER.
Two shocking eliminations occurred today.
Samantha Harvey’s The Wilderness has been rudely dropped from our list.
My husband says, “It's forgettable. The characters are not that interesting. If I were British maybe I would appreciate the setting or something. There’s an architect and the woman he lives with and his dead wife and a daughter who might be dead and a son is in prison.
“The committee is - I’m not saying anything. They need some great themes like White Tiger. “ This said very sarcastically, as he hated White Tiger.
He says Harvey takes a chance by writing from the point of view of a man with Alzheimer’s. “But it won’t make it. There’s not enough there.”
The wife in the Booker Prize in the Midwest has even more rudely dropped Sarah Waters’s popular The Little Stranger.
“I’ve had to force myself to read 125 pages. She’s a good writer, but this doesn’t interest me at all, and I have to think it’s not up to her usual standard. It’s very plot-driven and the characters seem unreal and shadowy, especially the doctor-narrator. A truly horrific incident happens at a party at the crumbling posh old mansion - and Stephen King would like it, but I don’t.
“It doesn’t measure up to her last novel, The Night Watch. And I’m not going to finish it!”
Yes! That’s what we like to hear. Rudeness! It’s a COMMITTEE choice, not a classic.
Eleven are left in the running, and the only one we’ve read is Byatt’s brilliant novel, The Children’s Book.
"We're looking for a dark horse, but we haven't found it yet," the husband adds.
This is probably the year of Me, Cheeta in England because there was some kind of Acid Kool-Aid Test to disrupt the judges’ judgment.