I am not terribly impressed with this year’s shortlist:
Joshua Ferris: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
Richard Flanagan: The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Karen Joy Fowler: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Howard Jacobson: J
Neel Mukherjee: The Lives of Others
Ali Smith: How to be Both
One Englishman, a Scot, an Indian, an Australian, and two from the US. Two women. One previous winner. All fairly well-known writers. No first novels.
I have read one – the Flanagan, which I thought was quite good but not great. Unlike the past two years, I certainly shall not read the rest, though may read the Mukherjee and Smith, but not before the announcement. I do not see an obvious winner and shall not predict one as that will curse him/her to lose. I had hoped the addition of US writers would enhance the list. it seems to have had the opposite effect.