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Booker International Shortlist 2020: Tyll


Bookworm’s Thoughts: This is another one of those books I feel I should love but instead I found it kind of flat. I would have loved to know more about Tyll and his life after leaving home instead we have him appearing in the stories of others to perform random actions. I thought the book might be building to a big bang but it was more of a fizzle.

Why it could win: It is different and while like all of the shortlist I have read so far it is centred around conflict and disharmony it tackles these issues in a novel way.

Why it might not win: The story really doesn’t go anywhere and I think there are stronger contenders on the shortlist.

Tracy’s Thoughts: Why it could win: Another mythical story with a touch of magic and a legendary character. The writing is brilliant- it combines modern and historical to make a mostly cohesive, layered and timely story.

Why it might not win: While I loved the writing style, not everyone will, and there is a lack of editing in some chapters.

RachelO’s Thoughts: At the 50% mark, I’m admitting this book isn’t for me. I’ve enjoyed individual chapters, but don’t feel I’ve connected with the book, the story or the characters as a whole – I will probably read on to try and find out what I’m missing/not getting, but sadly I have little interest in keeping going.

Why it could win: Those that enjoyed this one, really enjoyed it! It’s an unusual story, told in an unusual way. I think it’s got a good chance.

Why it might not win: For me, other books have provoked stronger reactions, even if they weren’t always positive. 

Have you read this one? What do you think its chances are?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Remedial Stitcher #

    I just read this (listened to it) and found it unsatisfying. I too had hoped that it would be more about Tyll and his life, not the lives of those with whom he came in contact. Flat’s a good description. I was disappointed.


    June 17, 2020
  2. I haven’t read any of the shortlisted books this year, but I’m planning to read all pervious Booker International winners with a reading buddy soon (except for The Vegetarian, which I have already read).


    June 19, 2020

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