Saturday, March 8, 2008

Super Booker

you may, if you follow the world of books, or the world of being British, know that the Brits are trying to decide on a Booker of Bookers. That's like, for us, the Pulitzer of Pulitzers.

Now I haven't read every Booker winner, but I have read a few. I've read The Blind Assassin, Life of Pi, Vernon God Little, Disgrace, Amsterdam, The God of Small Things, and half of Possession. I loved Vernon and The Blind Assassin, but I can't imagine any book being more beautifully composed than The God of Small Things, a truly gorgeous work. Anyhow, having read 6 and a half of the Bookers, that would be my pick. I own Midnight's Children (the current Booker of Bookers) and The Sea (and possibly a few others), so I could bang those out if I had to, but really, The God of Small Things is a fantastic book.

Now, if there was a Pulitzer of Pulitzers for fiction, I wouldn't even dream of hazarding a choice, as it's been around alot longer than the Booker, and I wouldn't have read even 20 percent of the books.

Pulitzer novel/fiction winners I've read: The Magnificent Ambersons, Gone With the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, Humboldt's Gift, A Confederacy of Dunces, A Thousand Acres, Interpreter of Maladies, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Empire Falls, and The Road. It's possible I've read some others and just don't remember (ahem, Hemingway)... I've been keeping a list of all the books I've read since 2002. Anything before that I can't be certain unless it was something I read in school or own and know I've read. But that's still only 12 of the Pulitzer winners since 1917 (a few years they didn't give it out, but still). 12/91 (approx) is much less than 6.5/38 (approx).
OK, you talked me into it. Of the Pulitzer winners I REMEMBER reading, several of which were excellent (Kavalier and Clay, The Road, and Confederacy of Dunces being my favorites), I feel like To Kill A Mockingbird would be a hard one to beat.

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In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen