Given the way the cards have fallen, it’s difficult for me to muse very much about a shortlist where I’ve read only one of the shortlisted titles (A Little Life), although I’m absolutely thrilled that it made the shortlist. My few musings are as follows:
- Having read only Girl At War and Pleasantville from the longlist, I didn’t feel very qualified to comment on what ought to be shortlisted, either, although I wasn’t convinced enough by either of those novels to back them. For me, Pleasantville got bogged down in its complicated plot, while Girl At War, ironically, felt structurally too neat and simple, despite the emotional impact of its early twist.
- This article on the shortlist, by Elle Thinks, is a great read – I looked at the first page of The Improbability of Love in Waterstones the other day and wanted to put it down immediately, and it certainly sounds like it ticks a lot of my personal dislikes. On the other hand, I haven’t read an Atkinson novel I liked since Behind the Scenes at the Museum, so was perhaps a little unfairly relieved to see that A God in Ruins wasn’t shortlisted, although I’ve not read it and it may be brilliant.
- I wish that Rush Oh! and The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet had been shortlisted – they were the two titles I most wanted to read from the longlist.
- As I’m committed to getting through my TBR pile, I may not do my usual shortlist read along this year, especially as few of the chosen grab my attention, but of the shortlisted novels, I’m most intrigued by The Glorious Heresies.