Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I think For Now On I Shall Avoid Booker Prize Books

I made a rule recently in which I must read two chapters of a novel and then decide if I want to read the rest or quit.

Today I broke that rule. I started reading Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question and knew, about half way through the long first chapter, that I didn't want to finish the book.  To me, the book is boring and pretentious.  

I'm going to have to change my rule. Maybe one chapter is enough for making a decision about whether to quit or not, especially if the chapter is long.  


After quitting the book, I looked on Goodreads, because I like to find other people who dislike the books I dislike.  In this case, there are many. It has a rating of 2.8. I think that's the lowest I've seen...out of the books I've read and reviewed.  

Some people mentioned, in their reviews, that the book had won the Man Booker Prize. And then I remembered seeing it on the back of the book.

I consulted Lord Wiki to see the other Booker winners. I especially wanted to see the Australians who won.

Peter Carey has won twice. I like many Australian books and authors. Carey wouldn't be included on that list. I think I tried reading two or three of his books.  Back then I was less lenient about quitting books, so I think I completed reading at least two of his novels. It wasn't a pleasant experience for me.

Thomas Keneally won for Schindler's Ark.  I've enjoyed some of Keneally's books, and I loved the movie Schindler's List. I didn't care much for the book.  

Richard Flanagan's the most recent winner of the Man Booker Prize. I've liked some of his books. I'm betting I won't like the recent one. Why? Because it won the damn Booker Prize.

I'm being too harsh.

It's not all bad.

There are two books on the list that I've read and liked.

Life of Pi won in 2002. I enjoyed that. 

Then the 2011 book sounded familiar to me. A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. I looked it up on Goodreads and saw I wrote a review for it last June. I can't really remember anything about it. But it seemed I liked it. Or did I convince myself to like it, because I felt ashamed of disliking a Man Booker Prize? 

No...I think I'm past that. I think I have enough literary security to be honest about whether I like or dislike a book.  

And now I'm to the point where I'm pretty much going to expect not to like Man Booker Prize books. I think I'll avoid them for the most part.

Though I might give the Flanagan book a try.