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Who will win the 2015 Man Booker Prize? Our Predictions

Tomorrow they will announce the winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize. Between the two of us (thanks mainly to Book Worm), we have read all the books on the shortlist (and all on the long list). We’ve reviewed all the books on here at some point and you can search by book to read our reviews. We wanted to do a Booker wrap up and prediction. See what we thought of all the shortlist books and which one we think will win.

The Fishermen
Reasons why it should or may win: The Fishermen is getting a lot of critical acclaim and many readers have loved it. It is clever as a biblical parable and in the way that the events of experienced by the family parallel the disintegration of Nigeria under the dictatorship of Gen. Sani Abacha. It’s well written. Obioma has been called the heir to ­Chinua Achebe.

Reasons why it shouldn’t or won’t win: In my (Jen’s) opinion, the book just simply isn’t as good as some of the other contenders. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t blown away by the book as much as some others. I found that despite the difficult events described, I didn’t really find myself having an emotional reaction to the book and I felt detached from the characters.

Do we think it will win? Jen says: No. Book Worm says: No

A Little Life
Reasons why it may win: Most people seem to love this book (myself included) and it is generating a lot of buzz in literary circles. It is exquisitely written and emotionally evocative – like no other book I’ve read in the past 5 years. Characters are well developed, the relationships between them are complex and some of the friendships are truly beautiful.

Reasons why it shouldn’t or won’t win: The book has probably been overhyped and we should all know by know that the favorite almost never wins the Booker Prize. Thinking critically (because I personally loved the book), the book has it’s flaws. The book is long and the heavy-handed detail of abuses piled one on top of the other can give the book a sensationalist feel.

Do we think it will win? Jen says: No. Book Worm says: No

A Brief History of Seven Killings (read by Book Worm)
Reasons why it may win: I have stolen this quote from the New York Times as they summed it up so perfectly…It’s like a Tarantino remake of “The Harder They Come” but with a soundtrack by Bob Marley and a script by Oliver Stone and William Faulkner, with maybe a little creative boost from some primo ganja. It’s epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex. It’s also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting — a testament to Mr. James’s vaulting ambition and prodigious talent.”

Reasons why it shouldn’t or won’t win: While the setting adds a new perspective, the actual basis (fictional account of real life event / gang culture) has been done several times before in different countries, most commonly Latin America. The use of Jamaican slang may put off some readers (for me this added to authenticity).

Do we think it will win? Jen says: yes. Book Worm says: Yes

Satin Island (read by Book Worm)
Reasons why it may win: In my (Book Worm) opinion, this is the most original book to make the shortlist in terms of narrative style. So for that reason alone, it should win.

Reasons why it shouldn’t or won’t win:   Compared to the other novels on the shortlist, this is a light-weight read. I was also let down by the ending. Having looked at other reviews for this, the general concensus is that the premise itself is great, but the book fails to deliver — an opinion I agree with.

Do we think it will win? Jen says: No. Book Worm says: No

A Spool of Blue Thread (read by Book Worm)
Reasons why it may win: Well it made it to the shortlist and that is the only reason I can see for it winning (sorry). Other reviewers call it a touching, humourous look at the family and how it illustrates the idea of multiple truths and the importance of a shared past.

Reasons why it shouldn’t or won’t win:  This is a family saga, something that has been done countless times before and will no doubt be done countless times again. The family is new, their lives are new but the entire premise is a cliché.

Do we think it will win? Jen says: No. Book Worm says: No

The Year of the Runaways (read by Book Worm)
Reasons why it may win: This is a novel that tackles a highly topical and controversial issue: immigration and specifically illegal immigration. It shines a new light on why people may leave their own country with nothing more than the hope of a better future. The selection of characters from various castes in Indian makes this a more diverse novel than those that focus just on one caste of people.

Reasons why it shouldn’t or won’t win: While the issues are topical, the storyline is not new. Each scenario has been covered in other books about India and Indian migrants making this one low in originality compared to some of the other books on the list.

Do we think it will win? Jen says: No. Book Worm says: Maybe

So which book do we think will win?

Jen: I’m going to go out on a limb here and, contrary to popular opinion, predict that A Brief History of Seven Killings will win.

Book Worm: I agree with Jen. Having read the entire Shortlist, I believe that the most deserving book is A Brief History of Seven Killings. However, I think based on the kind of novels chosen for the shortlist, it will be a close call between 7 killings and The Year of the Runaways.

We want to hear from you! Which nominees did you read? Which book do you think will win? Which book should win?

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. I bet with a friend that A Little Life would win…though personally, I want A Brief History of 7 Killings to win (I don’t think it will though).

    Liked by 1 person

    October 12, 2015
    • The favorite never seems to win the prize so we shall see. A Little Life is definitely the favorite.

      Like

      October 12, 2015
  2. Thanks for this – waiting with baited breath as shamefully I’ve only read the Anne Tyler so far and am pretty certain it won’t (and shouldn’t) be chosen. Time will tell!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 12, 2015
    • No shame in it. Some weren’t even out until very recently. I’ve only read two of the shortlist – I read the wrong half of the long list. Book Worm amazingly read every single long list book.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 12, 2015
  3. Nicole D. #

    I just rushed to put A Brief History of Seven Killings on hold at the library, and I’m next in line! Woo hoo. After this, I imagine a much longer line.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 12, 2015
  4. I also think Brief History will win. I think it’s the most impressive in terms of literary style than the others. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if Satin Island won.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 12, 2015
  5. Jo #

    I didn’t mange to read the whole short list (I’m currently halfway through The Year of the Runaways), but I’m also going for A Brief History of Seven Killings.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 12, 2015
  6. I really can’t wait to see which books wins. Thanks for bringing some elements of suspense to this prize! I am in the middle of A Little Life and absolutely think it is beyond, beyond outstanding – – so even though it is the favorite, I’m still hoping it wins. I’m only halfway through it though, so maybe I’ll feel differently when I’m finished.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 12, 2015
    • You know I loved it too! I wouldn’t be sad to see it win.

      Like

      October 12, 2015
    • Ok, now I’m three quarters of the way through, and while I think the writing is absolutely spectacular, I’m not quite so sure it should be the winner. There are some issues. But goodness, I wouldn’t hesitate to read anything else written by the same author. Very, very talented writer. The editing is a little questionable.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 13, 2015
  7. Well done on your prediction!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 13, 2015

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