Thursday, September 14, 2006

Quick Giller Survey

On this past Monday, the good Giller people announced the longlist for the coveted Giller Prize:

David Adams Richards, The Friends of Meager Fortune
Caroline Adderson, Pleased to Meet You
Todd Babiak, The Garneau Block
Randy Boyagoda, Governor of the Northern Province
Douglas Coupland, jPod
Alan Cumyn, The Famished Lover
Rawi Hage, De Niro's Game
Kenneth J. Harvey, Inside
Wayne Johnston, The Custodian of Paradise
Vincent Lam, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures
Annette Lapointe, Stolen
Pascale Quiviger, The Perfect Circle
Gaétan Soucy, The Immaculate Conception
Russell Wangersky, The Hour of Bad Decisions
Carol Windley, Home Schooling

Once again, I haven't read any of these. It's not that they pick really obscure books, it's that I'm horrible on keeping up with newly published books. At best, I'm a couple of years behind. Looking at the list of past winners:

2005- David Bergen, The Time In Between
2004- Alice Munro, The Runaway
2003- M.G. Vassanji, The In-Between World of Vikram Lall
2002- Austin Clarke- The Polished Hoe
2001-Richard B. Wright, Clara Callan
2000-Michael Ondaatje, Anil's Ghost and David Adams Richards, Mercy Among The Children
1999-Bonnie Burnard, A Good House
1998-Alice Munro, The Love of a Good Woman
1997-Mordecai Richler, Barney's Version
1996-Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
1995-Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance
1994-M.G. Vassanji, The Book of Secrets

I've read less than half (1.The Love of a Good Woman, 2.Barney's Version, 3.Alias Grace and 4.The Book of Secrets). Looking at these, I'm not even a couple years behind, I'm 8 years behind!

How many have you read? And have you read any of those longlisted for this year?


Robert Hiscock said...

I've read three of the previous winners and none of the current nominees. I'm eagerly looking forward to Russell Wangersky's The Hour of Bad Decisions however. I've heard wonderful things and The Custodian of Paradise ought to be a treat.

It's cool to see Newfoundland writers doing so well -- we're less than 2% of the nation's population but 20% of the titles on the list. Cool.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Considering you read about 900 times the amount of books that I do, I am happy to brag that I have read three of the previous winners (Barney's Version, Alias Grace, and A Fine Balance) and one from this year's list (jPod).
And it only took me about 7 years to do so.

John Mutford said...

Wow! According to these results a third of all people have read one of this years Giller's potentials!

Yes Rj, I'm looking forward to Custodian of Paradise too, though I'm nervous that if I don't enjoy it, it will take away from how much I loved Colony. Now I want to read the Harvey book, too.

Barbara, What was A Fine Balance like? I've been planning to read that fro some time.

Robert Hiscock said...

I'm concerned about Paradise as well... sequels can damage our impressions of the original. It's risky business.

towniebastard said...

The Globe gave it a very mixed review on Saturday. Certainly not up to the glowing standards of Colony...

I ordered it over the weekend (before reading the Globe) and should be getting it this week. I guess I'll see then.

My only concern about Wangerski's book is that his columns and editorials (I have no problem spotting the editorials he writes) are very floral in their prose. It's something I hope he tamed in his book.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

A Fine Balance is a fine book! I have to admit that I am rather fascinated with books about India, so am biased, but I have enjoyed all of Rohinton Mistry's novels.

He is really good at incorporating historical occurences in his novels, which of course can often make for some brutal tales.

John Mutford said...

I once read the sequel to Forrest Gump (i.e., Gump And Co.). Probably the worse sequel ever. Granted I didn't read the original, I just saw the movie, but yes, it ruined the original retroactively.

TB, I'm not familiar with Wangerski, but oddly the "floral" editorials have my curiousity piqued.

BB, Indian books, eh? Interesting. Not that I've actually read a lot, but Jamaican books and Russian books intrigue me.

John Mutford said...

Congrats to Vincent Lam.