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Man Booker Prize Long List 2012

Man Booker Prize 2012This has got to be my most eagerly awaited event of the literary year — the announcement of the authors and books who have successfully fought their way onto this year’s Man Booker Prize long list. The publication on the 25th July of the long list for the 2012 Man Booker prize will, as ever, cause much discussion and controversy — does the list follow mainstream trends too much? Is it brave enough? Is it too predictable? — these are generally the type of arguments that rage across the blogosphere and social media sites as soon as the list is released.

As usual, I don’t intend to slavishly read the entire list. My current TBR pile is growing ever larger anyway so, as usual, I will probably pick out several of the titles that most grab my imagination.

This years judging panel was chaired by Sir Peter Stothard, ably assisted by Dinah Birch, Amanda Foreman, Dan Stevens and Bharat Tandon, who have had to make their selections from a total of 147 submitted novels.

Read on to see the full 2012 Man Booker Longlist

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Indian Maidens Bust Loose by Vidya Samson

Indian Maidens Bust Loose by Vidya SamsonIndependent and Self-Publishing are possibly the hottest and most contentious topics in the literary world today. Although I am wholeheartedly behind this trend, as a reader and reviewer, it is unfortunately the case that I do see far too many books of a standard that vindicates the argument of mainstream publishers that their old style gate-keeping is the last bastion of quality.

Thankfully, I also come across novels such as Vidya Samson’s Indian Maidens Bust Loose, which are as well written and edited as anything I read from larger publishers but may simply not meet their commercial requirements, or perhaps even the author’s own plans for their work.

I do have to point out before you read the review, that at the time of writing  Indian Maidens Bust Loose is only available in eBook format, so apologies to those without access to eReaders.

Read on for a full review…

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Bitter Water by Gordon Ferris

Bitter Water by Gordon FerrisGordon Ferris’ first Douglas Brodie novel, The Hanging Shed, caused quite a stir when it was published in 2011, particularly on¬†Kindle where it punched its way quickly to the top of the popularity charts. Judging by that success, it is likely that an army of fans are eagerly awaiting Brodie’s second outing in the follow up — Bitter Water. The dark and brooding atmosphere and action packed story line of the first novel are certainly a tough act to follow, read my full review below to see if Gordon Ferris’ latest manages to hit the spot.

Oh, and one last thing before we get onto the main review, when I wrote this the Kindle version of the book was being sold at a very reasonable price. Click here for Amazon.com and here for Amazon.co.uk.

Read on for a full review…

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The Observations by Jane Harris

The Observations by Jane HarrisThere is no getting away from the fact that there is a whole stack of recent fiction set in the Victorian era and, because of this, Jane Harris’ 2006 novel The Observations, like others in this arena, has its work cut out to be a little different and capture the reader’s imagination.

I got hold of a Kindle copy after receiving a number of recommendations, so my expectations were already set high for the book. Also, since there are a number of the aforementioned stack of books that I have not yet got around to reading, I was looking forward to getting stuck into its nicely weighty 548 pages without having to worry too much about that “oh god, not another” feeling. So, did it live up to all those recommendations?

Read on for a full review…

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