The improbability of being longlisted

improbability-of-love

[OOPS! Commenter Elle points out an egregious error in my post. The book wasn’t longlisted for the Booker as I thought, it was shortlisted for the Bailey’s Prize. ]

When I posted about the tower of 26 hardcover books I want to focus on from now until the end of the year, there was a bit of a Twitter war about one title. Okay, it was nowhere near a war, but it was a lively discussion about whether The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild was terrible or kind of amusing. Having now plowed through said novel I am ready to pass judgement.

  1. I found it amusing.
  2. I love a story about art treasures found in junk shops. (See also Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads monologue The Hand of God.)
  3. I not only didn’t mind the fact that the painting talked, I actually kind of liked his perspective.
  4. This book in no way deserves to be longlisted for any literary prize let alone the Booker.[see my OOPS above]
  5. It’s all way too pat. It’s in the Potato Peel Pie, Marigold Hotel, Maisie Dobbs, Harold Fry, school of plotting. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t prize-worthy.
  6. It seems to have served as an “I know a lot about art history and want to show you” fiction delivery system.
  7. I saw one of the mysteries coming a mile away.
  8. Why do so many books/movies think that spurned women are going to cook their way to a new life? (I’m thinking of that Keri Russell pie making movie and a Julia Glass novel to name just two.)
  9. Worth a read, found it a page turner, but no great shakes.

6 thoughts on “The improbability of being longlisted

  1. Anthony September 7, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    Have you ever compiled a list of your favourite ten books of all time?

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  2. Sly Wit September 8, 2016 / 1:43 am

    Agree with all of the above. Though I’d add that one of my biggest gripes is that there were too many characters. I was never lost or confused, but a few characters lines just didn’t go anywhere or came and went so quickly that I didn’t really see the point.

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  3. BookerTalk September 8, 2016 / 3:41 am

    Anything that falls into the same bucket as Marigold Hotel, Gurnsey Potato Peel Society is going to be low down on my list of what to read.

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  4. River City Reading September 8, 2016 / 7:21 am

    I fell into the terrible camp, but I can see why people found it enjoyable (I just couldn’t get past the voice of the painting, I didn’t particularly mind that it talked). I’m still BLOWN AWAY that it’s on the Booker list.

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  5. Elle September 8, 2016 / 8:52 am

    It isn’t on the Booker list (thank gawd), it was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize (and didn’t win). Your breakdown of it is excellent, though – fun, fluffy, not a serious contender for owt.

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