[Katie Noble | Entertainment Editor]
So, today is officially Buy a Book day! I’m sure that you already have a ‘to-buy’ pile as long as your arm (damn reading lists) but here, have a couple more. You know, for good measure? The Man Booker long-list has recently been released and I find that it’s a great way to source a little literary inspiration. Here’s some of our top picks from the books that made the cut:
The Chimes by Anna Smaill
The Chimes is the brilliant literary debut from New Zealand poet and violinist, Anna Smaill. Set in a reimagined London, The Chimes takes place in a world where the population is unable to retain new memories and the written word is very much forbidden, as well as actively destroyed. However, ‘in absence of both memory and writing, is music’, and we follow Simon Wythern, a young man who appears in London, seeking the truth. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading this one yet, but I’m very much looking forward to it!
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Probably one of the lesser known of the bunch, A Brief History of Seven Killings is interestingly, a fictional exploration of the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s. This novel spans decades, as well as continents and it is very much an incredible literary feat. Described as ‘brilliantly inventive’ and ‘stunningly ambitious’, A Brief History of Seven Killings is an impressive follow up from acclaimed author, Marlon James. Again, not one I’ve read, but I’ve heard nothing but fantastic reviews.
Oneworld Publications (2014)
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
So, finally to one that I have read! First thing’s first, I wouldn’t be surprised if A Little Life actually won the Man Booker Prize this year. It is a truly epic story, following a group of four close friends and their lives, from starting college, to old age. However, the story is mainly about Jude – a mysterious and ever-changing protagonist who will really test the ends of your capacity for empathy. The phrase ‘emotional rollercoaster’ was made for this book and although it’s wonderful, I would only suggest picking it up if you’re comfortable with reading about the following: sexual abuse, drug abuse, physical abuse, self-harm, rape, verbal abuse, and child abuse. And although it’s not always up-front with descriptions, it really goes into detail about the lasting impact of the various abuses. This novel packs a serious punch. It’s truly intense, but definitely worth the ride if you can stomach it. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and hopefully, you’ll understand the dedication that Yanagihara must have undertaken to complete this book.
What are your thoughts on this year’s Man Booker long-list? Let us know! Tweet @TridentMediaUK