Wednesday, October 19, 2011

And the Booker winner is...

Congratulations to Julian Barnes on winning this year's Booker prize.

Readers of this blog will know I wasn't (and am still not) of the opinion that this is prize winning literature.

I have two big reservations. Firstly, a plot development which is absolutely crucial is, in my opinion, an absolute clunker. The main character is left something highly personal in a will. This is such a strange thing it makes one ask questions. But if one does ask the crucial question there is really only one answer, and it ruins the ending. I saw the ending a mile off.

Secondly, the character of the female lead is beyond strange. She acts in such an irrational way it completely pulls me out of the fictive dream. Her behaviour is so far from reasonable it simply doesn't work. Remember, the events which brought about the situation that informs the novel's conclusion happened many years before. So she's not suffering from shock. No, she does not strike me as in any way a credible character.

It's a pity, because there's some beautiful writing in The Sense of an Ending, as you would expect from Julian Barnes. He really ought to have won it for Arthur and George, the year the prize disappeared up the pompous arse of John Banville.

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