Orange Prize Other

The 2012 Orange Prize Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2012 Orange Prize has just been announced as:

The Forgotten WaltzThe Song of AchillesHalf Blood Blues

State of WonderPainter of SilenceForeign Bodies

My thoughts on the shortlist

The 2012 Orange shortlist contains an eclectic mix of books. All are well written and none look out of place on a prize shortlist; but whilst I’m not surprised by the inclusion of any single book, the shortlist as a whole is a bit of a shock.

  • I correctly predicted only two of the shortlist (The Forgotten Waltz and State of Wonder).
  • The two books that I felt were the strongest contenders (There But For The and Gillespie and I) were both eliminated.
  • The judges don’t seem to need to bond with characters in the same way I do, as (with the possible exception of Half Blood Blues) all the characters are difficult to bond with.
  • The judges don’t seem to appreciate experimental writing as both There But For The and The Blue Book were eliminated.

This surprising shortlist means that guessing an eventual winner is very hard. None of the books stand out above the others and whilst I think The Forgotten Waltz is the best of the group a part of me would like to give some publicity to a lesser known author.

What do you think of the shortlist?



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