Man Booker 2010 Winner (Will you read it?)

Man Booker 2010 Winner

Where did the year go? It’s hard to believe that an entire year has passed. It wasn’t too long ago that we were all buzzing over the last Booker prize winner, Hilary Mantel for Wolf Hall. It should be noted that I am currently stuck in the mire of Wolf Hall. It lured me with all of its promises and now I am knee-high in word muck. It may be my first official DNF (did not finish) for the year.

So when they announced this year’s winner, Howard Jacobson and his novel The Finkler Question, I took a moment to consider if, in fact, I will actually read it. One thing that gave me pause is that I had not heard of  his book before this. The other books that were short listed I had heard of in some way, but not this one. This of course intrigued me and reminded me just how many books are out there that we never even hear about.

Here is a blurb to whet your appetite:

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular former BBC radio producer, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they’ve never quite lost touch with each other – or with their former teacher, Libor Sevcik, a Czech always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results.

Now, both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor’s grand, central London apartment.

It’s a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. Better, perhaps, to go through life without knowing happiness at all because that way you have less to mourn? Treslove finds he has tears enough for the unbearable sadness of both his friends’ losses.

And it’s that very evening, at exactly 11:30 pm, as Treslove, walking home, hesitates a moment outside the window of the oldest violin dealer in the country, that he is attacked. And after this, his whole sense of who and what he is will slowly and ineluctably change.

The Finkler Question is a scorching story of friendship and loss, exclusion and belonging, and of the wisdom and humanity of maturity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best.

It may be me but the description sort of reads like a movie. It does sound good though…particularly that reference to it being a “scorching story of friendship and loss.” Will you read it? Of all the awards out there, I do try to read the Man Booker prize winners but as you saw above, they don’t always work for me.

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22 thoughts on “Man Booker 2010 Winner (Will you read it?)”

  1. Having just barely finished Wolf Hall, I’m really not ready to consider another Booker Prize winner yet–although it does sound interesting. At the moment I’m slinking back to the comfort of my Pulitzers.

  2. As much as I wish I would want to read it…it doesn’t sound dystopian enough for me…just teasing about that part….this is one of those books that you know you should read but would never actually buy…it would have to just sort of appear…

    1. Not dystopian enough. You silly, silly, girl. I just finished The Angels are the Reapers which has the dystopian feel but borders on horror. I will write up my review this weekend. It surprised me. It’s the zombie book I was saying was so bizarre.

  3. I most likely will NOT read it. (But I’ll read the short-listed ROOM.) I don’t think I’ll read it because Jackie at Farm Lane Books listed it as a DNF — seems to be a trend with these Booker Prize winners, huh?

  4. I have never heard of this one, which just goes to show, as you pointed out, how many books are out there that I have never heard of. I think the description sounds enticing.

  5. I’ll read it because I love to read the winner each year. I’m not surprised at all at that it wasn’t the one’s everyone thought would win because it usually isn’t! It’s always a curveball, at least it is for me.

    1. I like the Tournament of Books because the judges tell you why they liked or didn’t like a particular book. With some of these awards, I often wonder why the book was chosen.

  6. I don’t think I will consider this book until I read a few reviews from some people I trust (that like the same books I do). I know you enjoyed Tinker but I didn’t like this book at all – so if I wouldn’t pick it up on my own I’m not going to read it without reviews. I need to keep this practice, I do get lured into reading books I wouldn’t pick from time to time.

    I didn’t love Room…. most of the women in my book club struggled with the writing style but did appreciate the challenge of writing a complete book by a 5 year old.

    1. It’s too easy to be lured these days. For me though, I end up reading the award winners even if they are not well received, just to see what all the fuss is about. I am often disappointed but for some reason I continue to do it. In the case of Tinkers, I think it’s one of those books that you have to read at a certain time in your life and personally, I don’t think there is much to discuss so the book club circuit would be baffled over what to talk about I’m sure.

  7. I don’t read the Man Booker Prize winners unless reviewers I trust rave about them. That’s mostly as a time saver though. I guess if I was really drawn in by the description it would be different.

  8. I may read this one sometime, if the book falls into my hands…LOL I was not impressed with Tinkers as others were.

  9. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s never heard of this book! Not only have I not heard of the book, I haven’t heard of the author and yet he’s called one of “our finest writers.” The fact that it won the Booker will make me give it serious consideration but I think I’m going to have to hear more about it before I actually pick it up.

  10. I’m interested in this book and it sounds like it will be a good read. And then I read some troubling reviews at Farmlane Books. Apparently many readers found the book difficult. I’m going to check it out the next time I’m in a book store and see what I think!

    ~ Amy

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