Booker International Shortlist 2021 – The Dangers of Smoking in Bed
Any danger that this is our winner?
BookWorm’s Thoughts: Short stories…still not my thing.
Why This Could Win: I really enjoyed the story Kids Who Come Back it had elements of 2666 which is a great book and one of my favourite TV shows The Returned. There is a message about dangers facing women and girls and it was interesting to see where the stories shared elements.
Why It Might Not Win: Some of the stories are not as strong as others and some are overly graphic.
Why it could win: The stories are so good- there are horror, magic, and real life elements jumbled together, and the stories somehow make sense.
Why it might not: The horror elements can be gruesome, and it’s a short story collection.
Rachel’s Thoughts: I’m really not a horror-reader, so this is the book I was putting off (although I’m not sure if it is horror – much of the horror is in the real-world elements). It took me a few stories to ‘get it’, but once I did I was totally absorbed.
Why it could win: It won me over, despite expectations. Her writing about fear and anxiety are on the mark. And her portrayal of life for women and girls in Argentina was cutting and disturbing.
Why it might not win: There is deliberately no resolution – we leave the stories behind, rather than them ending.