Tuesday, December 23, 2014

BLAH BOOK AWARDS: 2014



Fiction:

  1.  The Wind Up Bird Chronicle: I had read Norwegian Wood and didn’t understand why people made a big deal about Murakami. Well now I know. A surreal, powerful page-turner where imagination has no limits.
  2. The Palace of Illusions: It may not actually be the second best literary work I have read this year but looking at the Mahabharata through Draupadi’s eyes took me back to the magic of Amar Chitra Katha and my childhood while also turning that world around in a breathtakingly subversive, liberating manner.
  3. The Savage Detectives: This on the the other hand is a true-blue literary masterpiece. Years from now people will study how Bolano reinvented the novel between this book and 2666.
  4. Atonement: Heartbreakingly beautiful. Like reading Ishiguro.


Honourable mentions:

  •  Islands in the Stream: No year is complete if you haven’t read a Hemingway and wondered how someone can attain such perfection and truth and power in whatever he wrote
  • The Goldfinch: A page turning sweeping epic... where’s the movie already?
  • The Devotion of Suspect X: Best detective novel in ages
  •  Ghana Must Go: The Rise and rise of African fiction
  •  In the Light of What We Know: The sheer scale and intellect of the world it tries to capture is breathtaking. It doesn’t always work but it’s very impressive



Non Fiction:

  1. The Secret Race: Sport in all its beauty and despair. A thriller. A tragedy. A story of redemption. Best sports book in ages
  2.  The Siege: No one who lived through the horror of 26/11 can read this and not be both moved and horrified. This is a story that needs to be told and read and understood and the quality of investigative journalism is staggering
  3. A Problem for Hell: Understanding how and why civilised society sits idle and allows genocide to take place around us and how it can change

Honourable mentions:

  •  Timeless Steel: Great anthology of writing on Rahul Dravid, my favourite cricketer
  • Stringer: A rookie Indian journalist discovers his inner Kapuscinski in a war threatened slum in The Congo

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