I was waiting in anticipation all day Tuesday to find out who was going to win this year’s Man Booker Prize. I had seen articles all morning predicting that Julian Barnes was projected to win. Sure enough, Julian Barnes’ THE SENSE ON AN ENDING won the 2011 Man Booker Prize. Though I have yet to read it and hadn’t really looked into any of the five that were shortlisted, I was pushing for either Stephan Kelman’s PIGEON ENGLISH or Patrick deWitt’s THE SISTERS BROTHERS. Why you ask? Because those I had known the most about and had seemed intrigued to read them; in fact, they are both on my TBR list (no matter how insane that list is quickly becoming).
So now I have looked into Barnes’ novel a bit more; okay, so it was not what I would read if it didn’t have the “Booker” stamp of approval. I will, then, give it a try; however, I am fearful this novel falls into that category of uber maleness, which vomits uncontrollably the male protagonist’s pity party about how horrible their downgraded life may be. And to those novels, I can say how much I like them: NOT AT ALL. But like I said, I will give it a try.
Barnes’ win makes me question the prize just like many are questioning the National Book Award prize. The Booker Prize has awarded some phenomenal novels, LIFE OF PI, THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS, and MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN. So why does this one give me the same chills that A SEPARATE PEACE and CATCHER AND THE RYE gave me? And note, those were never good chills!
I guess I will have to wait until next year. This may be why my new favorite literary award is the PEN/Bellwether Prize. Check out that one for other wonderful novels that even more align with themes that I absolutely fall love.
Here’s to reading, soon, THE SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes; CONGRATS Mr. Barnes!