the jury for the 2017 giller prize announced their longlist this past week.
∙ David Chariandy for his novel Brother, published by McClelland & Stethe jury for the 2017 giller prize announced their longlist this past week.
∙ David Chariandy for his novel Brother, published by McClelland & Stewart ∙ Rachel Cusk for her novel Transit, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd ∙ David Demchuk for his novel The Bone Mother, published by ChiZine Publications ∙ Joel Thomas Hynes for his novel We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night: A Novel, published by HarperPerennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd ∙ Andrée A. Michaud for her novel Boundary, published by Biblioasis International Translation Series, translated by Donald Winkler ∙ Josip Novakovich for his story collection Tumbleweed, published by Esplanade Books/Véhicule Press ∙ Ed O’Loughlin for his novel Minds of Winter, published by House of Anansi Press ∙ Zoey Leigh Peterson for her novel Next Year, For Sure, published by Doubleday Canada ∙ Michael Redhill for his novel Bellevue Square, published by Doubleday Canada ∙ Eden Robinson for her novelSon of a Trickster, published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada ∙ Deborah Willis for her story collection The Dark and Other Love Stories, published by Hamish Hamilton Canada ∙ Michelle Winters for her novel I Am a Truck, published by Invisible Publishing
of the 12 books, i had only read one - Transit, so... i had had some reading to do. i totally expected an eccentric list from this particular jury, but i am only interested in a few of the books nominated: robinson, redhill, o'loughlin, hynes, and chariandy. i had not even heard of winters' book, but once i became aware of it, i was keen to read it. so that's where i started.
unfortunately, it didn't do much for me. i did love the arcadian setting, and appreciated both the musical references and franglais sprinkled throughout. there was potential as i read, which kept me turning the pages... but it was just too peculiar for me. the writing was fine, but didn't WOW me as a giller nominee. (the way The Lonely Hearts Hotel did earlier this year, and for which i am gobsmacked over its lack of inclusion on this year's giller longlist. le sigh!)...more
so... hmmm. there were parts of the story that i quite liked, but there were aspects that i didn't enjoy. 2 -stars, if we could do that here.
given thso... hmmm. there were parts of the story that i quite liked, but there were aspects that i didn't enjoy. 2 ½-stars, if we could do that here.
given the manipulative nature of the main character, evelyn hugo, you could question her reliability a times (i enjoy unreliable narrators, generally). weirdly, though, by the end i felt very manipulated as a reader... and i can't quite explain it well or totally pinpoint the exact problem i experienced. it's easy to argue that all fiction or storytelling is a form of manipulation, but sometimes as a reader the feeling extends beyond that.
i didn't find the twist/reveal surprising. throughout hugo's narration, we are told monique will understand why evelyn chose her, and how monique was connected to hugo's own life and story. so it wasn't tough to figure out where monique fit in. as well, some of the social issues felt forced and lecture-y at times, rather than more fluid to the story.
i will say there is a lot of heart in taylor jenkins reid's writing - i did enjoy that about the book....more
sigh. okay -- those who know me, know i really struggle with atwood. given my predisposition to disliking her (save for Survival, which is NF and whicsigh. okay -- those who know me, know i really struggle with atwood. given my predisposition to disliking her (save for Survival, which is NF and which i like a lot), i REALLY tried to keep my mind open while reading -- i was fully prepared to be wowed by her writing, but that didn't happen. the ideas she presents in her story are fascinating, and so friggin relevant right now in this messed up world. but i found the writing really... lacking. i give props, too, for offred, this unreliable narrator. but, i wish it had come together as a much better read for me. my in-person book club chose it as our august read, and we will be discussing it ranting on saturday night. #MoreWine...more