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英国最热门的五本书  

2008-12-08 12:22:18|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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由英国《卫报》主办的“最具野心的,涵盖种类最丰富的,最不可思议的个人”图书榜单首次面世。

在该榜单中名列前5位的包括了介绍19世纪古典音乐的史记,一部罗曼蒂克的浪漫诗集,一部描写黑暗约克郡附近所发生的暴力故事,一本讲述巴基斯坦政治的小说以及一部讲述澳大利亚英雄传奇的长篇小说。

“整个评选过程都包含了大量的读者参与,以保证所有当选的图书都是最受读者喜爱的,”英国《卫报》文学编辑,本次评选的评委员主席Claire Armitstead如此表示。她也同时赞誉了所有获奖图书的“原创性”以及“抗拒市场炒作宣传性”。

今年的所有入围名单都通过英国最大的图书经销商Waterstone位于卡迪夫、爱丁堡、利兹、巴斯、牛津、伦敦以及网络上的读者俱乐部票选通过。事实上,在从最终入围的Top 10名单中评选最终获奖的5本书的过程中,普通读者的力量要大于评委团中的专家评委。

An "ambitious, varied and incredibly individual" shortlist for the Guardian first book award is announced today.

The five works include a history of 20th-century classical music, a novelistic memoir of a Soviet-era romance and a dark Yorkshire-set story of obsession and violence. There is also a subversive Pakistan-set political novel, and a cantering, carnivalesque Australian saga.

"These are sophisticated books that require a big investment from the reader - an investment for which they are richly rewarded," said Guardian literary editor Claire Armitstead, the chairwoman of the judges. She also paid tribute to the books' "generic inventiveness" and "defiance of easy marketing packagability".

This year, Waterstone's readers' groups from Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Bath, Oxford and London, plus one based online, helped narrow down the 10-strong longlist to five books. Their combined voting power was greater than that of the panel of four judges.

"It's particularly fascinating that The Rest Is Noise, a history of 20th-century music by Alex Ross, made the shortlist," said Armitstead. "In some quarters it has been seen as rather specialist - but in fact a huge number of readers have been willing to give it a go and the groups responded to it open-mindedly and intelligently." The book, also shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson non-fiction prize, is the only American work to have made the final cut; Ross is the music critic of the New Yorker.

The second non-fiction title is Owen Matthews' Stalin's Children. Combining memoir and history with a novelistic technique, Matthews tells the story of his parents. His mother, a Ukrainian who grew up an orphan in the Soviet Union, fell in love with his father, a brilliant Welsh Russianist, when he visited Moscow as a young academic. They sustained their romance through letters over years of separation.

By contrast, God's Own Country, by Ross Raisin, is a dark, menacing novel of obsessive, destructive desire. The Edinburgh readers' group compared it to A Clockwork Orange, finding it "bleak and beautiful, funny and frightening".

Steve Toltz's A Fraction of the Whole, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, also has a strongly individual, distinctive narrative voice. The Australian novel is a rumbustious, funny page-turner that tells the story of Jasper, now behind bars, his father, Martin, and his uncle, the criminal mastermind Terry. Attesting to the current strength of emerging Pakistani fiction, the final shortlisted book is A Case of Exploding Mangoes, by Mohammed Hanif. The Leeds group praised this fantastical satire on megalomania, based around the assassination of General Zia, as "witty, clever and a pleasure to read".

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