Our good friend WoodsieGirl has read all the books on the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize for the last few years. This is not because she is an avid reader, with varied interests and is constantly on the lookout for new great fiction. She does this purely to mock my inability to organize my book list. Honestly. It's evil.
Anyhoo, once again, she has kindly written up reviews of each book for us.
THE BLURB (Amazon)
THE REVIEWColm Tóibín's The Testament of Mary is the moving story of the Virgin Mary, told by a novelist famous for writing brilliantly about the family.From the author of Brooklyn, in a voice that is both tender and filled with rage, The Testament of Mary tells the story of a cataclysmic event which led to an overpowering grief. For Mary, her son has been lost to the world, and now, living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the events that led to her son's brutal death. To her he was a vulnerable figure, surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change.As her life and her suffering begin to acquire the resonance of myth, Mary struggles to break the silence surrounding what she knows to have happened. In her effort to tell the truth in all its gnarled complexity, she slowly emerges as a figure of immense moral stature as well as a woman from history rendered now as fully human.
This is author Colm Toibin's third time on the Booker prize shortlist - he was nominated in 1999 for The Blackwater Lightship, and in 2004 for The Master (neither of which I've read!). The Testament of Mary is a novella (only 104 pages), telling the story of Jesus' last days and crucifixion from the point of view of his mother, Mary. It's written as a monologue - it actually started life as a one-woman play, which shows in the writing. Now elderly and living in exile, Mary is visited by two men (never named, but we can presume they are two of the writers of the Gospels) who want her to recount the story of her son's life in a way that fits in with the legend that is already growing around him.
Shortlist 06 - Umbrella - Will Self
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