The Man Booker International Prize 2017 Short List is Announced

BookPile MBIP 2017

With the exception of Mirror, Shoulders, Signal and A Horse Walks Into a Bar, I am in complete agreement with the expert judges for the Man Booker International Prize. While I’m confused about the inclusion of Dorthe Nors’ book, at least they had the sense to leave off the tedious, boring and overwrought Explosion Chronicles.

I’ve heard good things about A Horse Walks Into A Bar, but I am still awaiting my library copy; it is one of the few books I have not yet read. But the others? Wonderful stuff!

I love Fever Dream for its enigmatic, mysterious message.

I love Judas for addressing the age old conflict between the Arabs and the Jews in a fascinating, well written plot.

I love The Unseen for putting us on an island about a century ago, and letting us live there within a closely knit family.

I love Compass for ethereal, brilliant writing like a stream of consciousness but better.

But, surely I would not have omitted Fish Have No Feet from the short list. It remains in my top three.

As for what the Shadow Jury panel chooses for our top short list? We will make that decision public on Thursday, May 4.

9 thoughts on “The Man Booker International Prize 2017 Short List is Announced”

    1. It is only my opinion, to be sure. There were some on the Shadow Jury who enjoyed it. But, I didn’t like his earlier book, The Four Books, very much, and this is more of the same. Much more.


  1. I preferred Explosion Chronicles to Four Books but I do seem to be a minority.

    Very pleased with the shortlist – my top 5 are on all there. And Fish Have No Feet was deducted marks for me (probably unfairly) due to not being up to Heaven & Hell trilogy standards: due to the trilogy I came to it with very (too?) high expectations.

    Mirror, Shoulder, Signal – well we have to permit the judges one random inexplicable choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wanted to feel compassionate for Sonja in Mirror, Shoulders, Signal, but as I remarked to my fellow shadow jury members to me she just seemed like a little girl who had to run away from the city because she wasn’t coping with one aspect of her life. Not being single, unlisenced, disenfranchised with her family, her vertigo; she didn’t make anything work, and I lost my patience with her whining.

      I see your point about Stefansson’s writing not “being up” to the trilogy, but I surely love his books. I think Fosh Have No Feet should be on this list. Otherwise, I’m fairly content.

      Thank you for leaving a thoughtful comment here. It’s nice to talk with you about these books.


      1. Thanks

        I think my issue with Mirror, Shoulder, Signal was more that novel is full of, to me rather clumsy, metaphors for Sonja’s life – Sonja’s role as a translator, her inability to select the correct gear, her vertigo and difficulty in checking her blind spot, Jodie Foster movies (Contact and The Accused), and Sonja’s fixation with migratory birds particularly whooper swans and also with helicopters (which speak to Sonja of yearnings and buoyancy)

        On Fish Have No Feet, the difference to the H&H trilogy is obviously the more modern parts set e.g. his teenage years in Keflavik, where Knausgaard and, particularly, Lars Saabye Christensen seem to do that much better. But I will be reading part II when it comes out – if only to hopefully discover who was narrating part 1!

        If of interest my reviews of all 13 are here

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Your analysis of Nors’ book is much more insightful and astute; I just knew I didn’t like it whereas you could articulate lucidly several (rather obscure) points. Some day I’ll read that cleverly. 🙂

          I will come to see your thoughts on goodreads. Thanks for the link.


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