Well, I got there. Finally. I’m not going to make my target of 70, but will plough on anyway and see where I end up.49. Two More PintsTwo More Pints
by Roddy Doyle
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Two Irish guys get together regularly in the pub and indulge in craic
over a pint. Doyle has them chatting about who’s died, the Royals, football, celebrities and politics. Zero insights. Not funny. Even at this brief length, not even remotely worth your time.View all my reviews50. Lost For WordsLost For Words
by Edward St. Aubyn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
With this biting satire on literary prizes, I guess Edward St. Aubyn has announced his lack of interest in ever winning one again. He unmercifully skewers the judges, the process, the publishers and the authors in a very funny account of a dysfunctional prize committee trying to choose between a range of truly awful novels for the awarding of a major literary prize (a very thinly-disguised Man Booker).
The judges are a mixed bunch of political appointees, academics and arty types who can never agree on anything, even the definition of a novel. Each has his or her favoured candidate, which they advocate passionately throughout the Long list, the Short List and the final judgment. Merit has virtually nothing to do with their grimly-defended choices.
The authors are a weird bunch of a commitment-phobic nymphomaniac whose current boyfriend lets her down, a spoilt Indian aristocrat astounded that his 1200 page epic can’t find a publisher, his old aunty whose recipe book gets entered by mistake, and so on.
St. Aubyn has a lot of fun, including writing up excerpts from his imaginary novels, which include some truly awful writing that he must have struggled to get that badly wrong. These include, for example, a brilliant pastiche of Irvine Welsh from a novel called wot u looking’ at?
This is a very good novel, maybe a little predictable, but still a lot of fun.View all my reviews