So the other day S. Krishna had a post about how she loves the Man Booker Prize, and it reminded me of what an odd beast I find this prize to be.
A long while ago, back when I only had my blog about my life, before I had a book blog even, I posted a rant about the Man Booker Prize. I feel like ranting more, so I'm going to post a slightly different version of the post I posted way back then.
The Man Booker Prize is a weird thing, I think.
The first Man Booker winner I read was "the Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. I LOVED it. Seriously. It was a great book. I just loved the author's way of expressing himself. Serious yet funny and almost sarcastic at the same time. And the story was so fantastic and interesting, and I just wanted so badly to believe. And I loved all the imagery and the way the author presented it. I really think that the only thing about I didn't like was that it wasn't a true story. And that the author decided last minute to try to make you believe that even within the fiction it wasn't true. I really did love this book.
The second Man Booker winner I read was "The God of Small Things." In my Summer Book list post, this is what I had to say about it:
Title:The God of Small Things
Rating:0 Stars! (I would give negative stars here if I could.)
What I Have to Say:This is possibly the WORST book I have ever read. The author was trying to hard, and it seem like she was deliberately trying (but failing, actually) to confuse the reader (maybe into believing that there was a point to her ridiculous prose). Seriously, I don't know how I finished it. I hated the author's writing style. I hated the story. I hated the non-stop onomotapoeias. And more than that, I sort of hated the characters. I was intrigued enough persever unti the end, hoping the ending might make it just a bad book and not a horrible book, but I hated even the ending. Somehow the ending managed to make it even WORSE, which before the ending, I didn't think was possible.
Seriously, I really think that this is the worst book I have ever in my life read.
So then I went on to read "the Gathering" by Anne Enright, was also a Man Booker winner. And it, too, was horrible. The main character was ridiculously annoying. There were times when I just wanted to strangle her (rather a violent reaction to a book character, I know). The author also did the really annoying onomatapoeia thing from "the God of Small" things, but less, so it was a little less annoying. Anne Enright seemed to be going for the vaguness of old memories, and she really got it. Everything just seemed vague and out of place, and stories were ending before they even started. And, as a reader, I never knew what to believe or even what she wanted me to believe. This put together could have actually been nice and given a great impression of how she was feeling (the premise was her family getting together because her brother died). But it wasn't. The best way to describe it is just plain ole boring and slightly annoying.
Then I was confused. Because "the Life of Pi" was so good, but "the God of Small Things" and "the Gathering" were both horrible in sort of the same way. I decided nonetheless to try "the Blind Assassin" by Margaret Atwood. And GUESS WHAT?!? I was once again disappointed by the Man Booker Prize. At least it was better than the other two. I mean, I didn't hate it this time. I was mostly just bored with it. I would give it 2 1/2 stars, or 3 if I am being nice.
So then the other day I was at the bookstore, and I saw a book that I have been wanting to read because of the beautiful cover, "the Enchantress of Florence" by Salman Rushdie. Unfortunately, it wasn't the version with the beautiful cover you see at the left, but I decided to buy it anyway and ended up with the less beautiful cover you see at the right.
I get home only to discover that, at the bottom of the book is written "Winner of the Man Booker Prize." And so now I will ONCE AGAIN read a winner of the Man Booker prize. I almost just want to host a giveaway and not even give it a try. After 4 flops and 1 awesome book, is it really worth it? But then I already own it, and there is that off chance that it will be awesome.
So, has anyone read any of the books in this post? If so, what do you think about them? Or has anyone ever read another Man Booker prize book? What are your thoughts? And most importantly, what are people's thoughts about "the Enchantress of Florence?" Should I suffer through it? Is there a chance that I will love it?