The Mookse and the Gripes discussion

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Booker Prize for Fiction > 1989 Booker General Discussion

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message 2: by Ang (new)

Ang | 1685 comments The only one I hadn't heard of is Jigsaw, which makes me want to read it. I have only read The Remains of the Day, but I have A Disaffection and Cat's Eye ready on the shelves.


message 3: by Hugh (last edited May 16, 2018 02:11AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3600 comments Mod
Thanks for creating the threads Ang, I have just added a dynamic rankings thread.

I have read three so far: The Remains of the Day, which remains one of my favourite Booker winners, The Book of Evidence, which I read some years ago and enjoyed, though my memory of it is hazy, and Restoration, which was a very entertaining read.

I already had a copy of Cat's Eye thanks to various friend recommendations here, and I am very much looking forward to reading it.

I have just ordered the other two, both of which are still available - I have just read How Late it Was, How Late, which was good enough to persuade me I should read more James Kelman, and Sybille Bedford is new to me.


message 4: by Ang (new)

Ang | 1685 comments I'm a big Kelman fan so looking forward to A Disaffection. They all sound good; it's a good choice of year I think.


message 5: by Val (last edited May 16, 2018 06:43AM) (new)

Val | 1016 comments I have read The Remains of the Day, Cat's Eye, The Book of Evidence and Restoration. I have a feeling that I did not finish A Disaffection for some reason, perhaps it did not grab me enough to persevere with the Glaswegian dialect, unlike How Late it Was How Late. I have heard of Sybille Bedford, but did not realise any of her books counted as fiction.
I have ordered a second-hand copy of Jigsaw and should have copies of all the others somewhere in the house. I will reread all those I manage to find.


message 6: by Sam (new)

Sam | 1713 comments May I ask how long we are keeping the discussion open? I was thinking the poll would be posted and discussion deferred till later in the year.


message 7: by Val (new)

Val | 1016 comments That was one of the options, but more people chose the other option of opening the discussion now and keeping it open until October / November.


message 8: by Sam (new)

Sam | 1713 comments Val wrote: "That was one of the options, but more people chose the other option of opening the discussion now and keeping it open until October / November."

Thanks Val, i'll probably take my time with the list then.


message 9: by Ang (new)

Ang | 1685 comments I suppose these don't really ever have to end. People can add to the threads any time. We will look at it after the Booker winner for 2018 is announced and perhaps give more time for the 1989 readalong to continue before starting another.


message 10: by Cordelia (new)

Cordelia (anne21) | 124 comments Ang wrote: "I'm a big Kelman fan so looking forward to A Disaffection. They all sound good; it's a good choice of year I think."

Strangely my local library seems to have all of Kelman's books apart from this one. I might have to buy it.


message 11: by Cordelia (new)

Cordelia (anne21) | 124 comments Val wrote: "I have read The Remains of the Day, Cat's Eye, The Book of Evidence and Restoration. I have a feeling that I did not finish A Disaffection for some reason, perhaps it did not grab me enough to pers..."

Bedford's books are sort of a mix of autobiography and fiction. I've read "A Legacy" which is apparently along the same theme as "jigsaw". "Legacy" I found a bit tedious and confusing - too many characters, difficulty keeping track.


message 12: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 6608 comments I'm happy this year was selected. I ordered Jigsaw and A Disaffection. I've read the others, but Im looking forward to rereading them.


message 13: by Dan (new)

Dan I just added my ranking of the four 1989 shortlisted novels that I've read. I read them scattered over the last twenty years: 1989 (Cat's Eye), 1995 (Remains of the Day), and 2012 (A Disaffection, The Book of Evidence). The Ishiguro and Kelman novels made the greatest impressions on me: I usually enjoy both authors. I hope to reread all that I've already read and also read the Bedford and the Tremain, but I expect to fall short until autumn.


message 14: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3600 comments Mod
Cat's Eye is now my second choice. I will try to read the other two before the Booker longlist is announced.


message 15: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3600 comments Mod
With just a few pages of Kelman left to read, this is an impressive longlist, certainly much stronger than 1970! In an ideal world I would reread the Banville, but I can't see myself doing that any time soon. The top five on my list are all good in different ways, and I didn't strongly dislike the sixth.


message 16: by Sam (new)

Sam | 1713 comments Finished 3 and taking a little break before the next 3. I agree with Hugh that this is a strong and enjoyable list. Below is some criteria I'll use to determine my favorite of this year.

Jigsaw was of most interest since the question of whether it is fiction or memoir further begs the question of whether it belonged on the list at the exclusion of Martin Amis', London Fields. I haven't decided yet.


I kept wanting Restoration to reveal more symbolic meaning I could attribute to some of its great images, but found myself still wanting at the end of the reread. I'm also afraid that Robert Downey Jr. is now stuck in my mind as the face of Merivel and I couldn't dislodge it.

Finally, although I love the unreliable narrator, I'm beginning to realize how cliched this device is, especially when relating a story of a murder.

I'll take a little break now before finishing the read of this list.


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