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Booker International Shortlist 2020: The Memory Police


You may have noticed a slow down in our Booker International 2020 posts that was due to the dreaded Covid-19 which has manage to affect (infect) all areas of our lives. Due to the virus the announcement of the winner has been delayed which means we can spend more time reading the shortlist.

Fear not we will continue to bring you our thoughts on all of the shortlist books as well as our predictions for the winner.

Onwards to shortlist book 3…

Bookworm’s Thoughts: In another reality I can see myself loving this book however given the events taking place in the real world now I didn’t find myself connecting with the story. For a book written in 1990 the author managed to capture the direction the world was heading in as well as providing a warning about the past. I enjoyed the writing and the parallel stories and it left me thinking that this kind of thing could only take place on an island or at least somewhere that was effectively cut off from the rest of the world.

Why it could win: It certainly captures the feel of a society under lockdown, a society that is tightly controlled and policed. The lack of specific technology also means that this had a timeless quality take away mobile phones and computers and this could be us right now.

Why it might not win: I suspect this may be considered a little on the light side of dark and if the judges are inclined towards dark (and the shortlist surely indicates they are) then there are darker books that would take the win. Likewise if the judges feel that the prize should inject some positivity into the world this is not a book that is going to do that.

Tracy’s Thoughts: Why it could win: A dystopian tale that seems to be an omen, reflecting a whole mess of real life over the last couple years.

Why it might not win: It feels too real. WAY too real.

RachelO’s Thoughts: I loved this book and read it over 24 hours – highly unusual for me! I don’t remember reading ‘quiet dystopia’ before.

Why it could win: It feels so current, even though the original was written around 20 years ago. Interesting ideas, beautiful writing, seriously anxiety-inducing and multi-layered. I feel like you’d get something very different from it if you reread it.

Why it might not win: It’s probably my favourite of the shortlist so far… And I’m expecting something louder to win this year.

Have you read this one? Do you think it could be the winner? Let us know

One Comment Post a comment
  1. I have read it and really enjoyed it:


    May 10, 2020

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