Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

27 Jul 2011

Man Booker Dozen

The 2011 Man Booker longlist includes books by four first-time novelists, one former Man Booker Prize winner and two previously shortlisted writers.


Our pick is Snowdrops by A D Miller.
Read staff review by Sue.


Also on the list - The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes; The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst; Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman.  Click here to see the full longlist.

Wish Your Were Here by Graham Swift

Picador

I can't endorse this book enough.  If not simply for the beauty of the writing but also for the way Swift chews over the choices facing his characters - a bit like a contemplative cow chewing its cud.  Dairy farming is at the heart of the story, and the chain of events that lead a farmer's son to turn back on his birthright.  In this context, it is a testament to the struggling of many against the crippling blows of mad cow, as well as foot and mouth disease.  Not that this is laboured, for above all, the book offers a deft exploration of the ties that bind us.

BiP staff review by Sue

Five Bells by Gail Jones


Vintage

It's not often that you finish a book and decide to reread it straight away.  This is what I have done with Five Bells.  I found the structure intriguing and wanted to review how her four main characters may have glanced off one another when they converged on Circular Quay one fateful Saturday.  I first visited the area at a very young age and have been held in its thrall for  most of my life.  It is this setting and on this day that we get to understand her characters and the 'baggage' they bring to the quay.  Not only did the setting strike a chord with me but also a little gems like this: "People have too little faith in modest conversation, she thought, and in what was known but remained silent or impossible to express.  The veneration of small sentences, or a gesture, or even a single word; this was the fabric of civility, the basic social contract.  One could die without it."  Food for thought in today's world.  I loved this book. 

BiP staff review by Sue