First steps along the Booker trail
Why blog about the Booker? I can’t remember now when the idea started. It might have been when I was stuck in traffic on the way to work and listening to a debate about why novel X won and novel Y didn’t even though ‘everyone’ except the judges thought it should have. Or it could have just as easily been on a day when I’d just finished reading some award-winning novel or other and wondered, not for the first time, how this could ever have been deemed worthy of a prize.
Either way, it got me thinking about who decides what is a great novel. The Booker is one of the most prestigious awards for literature; a celebration of the very best. It seemed a good place to begin my quest to understand why some books passed the test for the judges, and how many of those they chose at the start, would still be considered ‘great’ today.
I thought it would be interesting to read all the prize winners from 1969, the first year of the award. There were joint winners twice, in 1974 and 1992, which means I have a reading list of 42 novels to get through. I’ve read some of them in the past but to be fair, I will re-read those as well. Not sure how long this will take me……
I’ll post some comments about my experience along with comments from other (more expert) readers.