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Group Reads Discussions 2009 > The Graveyard Book -- A Winner!

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message 1: by M.D. (new)

M.D. (mdbenoit) | 116 comments This just in: TGB won the Hugo Award for best novel for 2009. Your thoughts? Is it deserving of such an award?


message 2: by Greyweather (last edited Aug 10, 2009 02:13PM) (new)

Greyweather | 234 comments Well, out of the five finalists I've only read two novels: The Graveyard Book and Little Brother. Of the two, I think TGB was better written, and would probably even go so far as to say it is better written than his other Hugo winning novel, American Gods.

I get the feeling however, that if I had had the time to read it, my choice would have been Stephenson's Anathem instead. The reason I say this is that while TGB is well written and intelligent, as one sees from how it is enjoyed by those beyond Gainman's target audience, the book is not what I could call sophisticated.


message 3: by Random (new)

Random (rand0m1s) I personally loved Anathem. I recommend picking it up if you're still interested in it.


message 4: by M.D. (new)

M.D. (mdbenoit) | 116 comments Random wrote: "I personally loved Anathem. I recommend picking it up if you're still interested in it."

I loathed Anathem. And I read it to the end, hoping there would be a story in there somewhere. Sure, if you're into reading pages after pages of made-up, complicated, nearly unintelligible philosopy, then go for it. Take away that philosophical model, and you have about 50 pages of story.


message 5: by Ben (last edited Aug 11, 2009 07:00AM) (new)

Ben Babcock (tachyondecay) | 138 comments I haven't read Anathem yet (it's on my to-read shelf!), so I can't comment on its appropriateness vis-à-vis The Graveyard Book. For what it's worth, Neil Himself was cheering for Anathem.

Looking at the list of nominations, I empathize with the voter panel. I'm seeing several books on there that I've read or plan to read. And the truth is, I find it really hard to compare them. I don't know how the panel does it.

Little Brother was fantastic, and I actually gave it five stars compared to my four stars for The Graveyard Book. I do agree with Greyweather that the latter was better written, however. The Gone-Away World also blew me away for what I thought a well-executed plot twist and perfectly-balanced absurdity. Yet I think its audience appeal is narrower (the plot twist, for instance, is a love-it-or-hate-it type deal).

As much as I love Ursula K. Le Guin, I don't understand why Lavinia got 15 nominations. It's probably the least satisfactory Le Guin novel I've read to date and definitely not Hugo material.

Ultimately, I do think The Graveyard Book deserves its Hugo; I was quite elated when it won. At the same time, and without any sense of hypocrisy, several of the runners-up probably deserved the Hugo too—they just happened to have the misfortune to be published in the Year of the Graveyard Book. (Clearly I would make a terribly wishy-washy Hugo reader!)


message 6: by Jacinda (new)

Jacinda (alynnakasmira) | 12 comments I loved Anathem, but I can see how it wouldn't appeal to someone with different tastes. I really enjoyed the well-developed world of the maths and the interesting ideas. The story was almost secondary to the world-building.


message 7: by Greyweather (new)

Greyweather | 234 comments Ben wrote: "As much as I love Ursula K. Le Guin, I don't understand why Lavinia got 15 nominations. It's probably the least satisfactory Le Guin novel I've read to date and definitely not Hugo material."

The one that boggles my mind is Snodgrass getting 12 nominations for The Edge of Reason, as it was just bad.


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