Sunday, August 05, 2012

Booker Award - not the real one

A lovely blogger, Rosalind Adam, has given me The Booker Award - not the one you're thinking about. This one means I have to tell you which are my five best novels of all time and then pass the award onto five other bloggies.

It's quite difficult picking five because I have so many books I cherish, but when I narrow it down I realize that most of my favorite ones are character-driven novels rather than plot-driven. Interesting....

So, here goes...My favorite all time novels:

The Gormenghast Trilogy. This has been my constant companion since I was about eighteen years old. Whenever life hits me cattywumpus I always dig out Titus Groan in his crumbling gothic castle. I don't think I can ever forget the chef Swelter. *If you saw the TV series, I can assure you it didn't do the book justice.

Another one with an amazing array of characters. First and foremost is an intelligent, witty but not altogether likeable whore in Victorian London. Since this is about the only period of history I'm interested in - and I'm passionate about it - this suits me perfectly. And Michel Faber doesn't disappoint nor stint on making this a truly atmospheric novel and I was sorry when I finished it.

I just finished this. If a book can transport you to another location - and a magical, wonderful, dream-like one - then I'm all in favour. This wasn't so much the characters, nor the plot, it was the reality that the author managed to conjure up out of something unreal, if you get my meaning. If the circus came to my town, I'd be there first in the queue.

Once read, who can forget Idgie Threadgood? I'd love to be inside this novel (even if it's set in the Depression) and eat ham and grits at the counter of the café. And Ninny must be the sweetest old lady ever to inhabit an old people's home.

I could've picked any Terry Pratchett book, actually. They're jam packed with amazing characters such as Death (in this case) who needs an apprentice. The dialogue in all his books are screamingly funny and no-one who reads them will forget Sergeant Colon, Nanny Ogg, The Luggage or Binky - Death's horse.

Here's a little teaser: " 'Who's playing the maracas?'
Death grinned. 'MARACAS? I DON'T NEED...MARACAS.'

And nominees for The Booker Award:

Elin Gregory
Julia Kavan
Catherine Cavendish
Lynn Procter
M.J. Fifield