I’ll admit it was with great excitement that I settled down to read the Man Booker Prize shortlisted “J” by Howard Jacobson. I’d heard it was a dystopia and I, along with most of America, love dystopian novels.
“A novel to be talked about in the same breath as ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ and ‘Brave New World,’” reads the front flap.
I really can’t recommend “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan. The other Man Booker Prize shortlisted books so far had their sad parts, but they always had some redeeming quality that kept you reading. Maybe it was humor, maybe family, maybe a lingering hope for humankind.
“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” is just flat-out depressing. It’s about Australian POWs building the Death Railway in Thailand. It follows their lives before, during and after World War II.
I confess this one made my teary-eyed. The Man Booker Prize shortlisted “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler is simultaneously heartbreaking and humorous.
It’s the tale of two sisters, Fern and Rosemary. They live in a big house in the country with their parents and brother.
One day, Rosemary gets sent to her grandparents. She’s terrified she’s been given away. When her parents finally come to get her, they take her to a new house. She counts the room: a kitchen, a living room, two bathrooms, her parents’ room, her brother’s room, her room.
The Juneau Police Department is having fun with their new Facebook page, posting old pictures of officers in uniform for #throwbackthursday, a video of their Ice Bucket Challenge, as well as informational items such as PSA’s for the upcoming vehicle auction and regular Crime of the Week.
“The Lives of Others” by Neel Mukherjee is exactly what I’d expect from a Man Booker Prize shortlistee. It’s deep, it’s complicated and it’s rather exuberant with the commas.
The book follows the internecine lives of the 17 members of the upper-middle-class Ghosh family and a variety of their servants, acquaintances and comrades between 1966 and 1970. It’s a beautifully crafted book toggling between timelines and characters masterfully.
A tough choice is before you. You want to have an opinion on the Man Booker Prize nominees (your own opinion, not mine) but you don’t want to read all six books in the next five weeks. How then do you choose the most worthy?
Below are several tried-and-true methods for picking a favorite:
It starts out well enough. Right on page -2 (before the page numbers), the epigraph comes from an ancient tome, the Bible. From the well-respected book of Job, chapter 39, verse 25 — the King James version even.
It reads: “Ha, ha.”
Just so you’re clear on the tone of Joshua Ferris’ Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel, “To Rise Again at a Decent Hour.”
The U.S. Coast Guard ice breaker Healy stopped in Juneau on Thursday after four months in the Arctic, and the captain graciously gave the Empire a one-on-one tour of the ship on Friday. Here's what we learned. (And click here to see what we saw.)
As in the Man Booker Prize for those of you who don’t follow books like you follow Twitter. It’s a literary award. An august and popular one with about $80,000 (£50,000) in the kitty and a funny-looking trophy at stake.
Today the shortlist was released, leading to a feeding-frenzy of book reviews, a great, sharp mouthful of criticism and violent, thrashing praise.
There will be conjecture, there will be melodrama, and in five weeks, there will be a winner.