But British readers love to savage books that DEIGN to be nominated for the Booker Prize. I know historically it’s been a relatively conservative prize that gives awards to the elder statesmen (and very few women) or feels like sometimes it rewards trends or underrepresented voices, often ignoring the best books in a given year for books that are a better “fit” for the prize.
I mean if you looks through the list of winners and nominees there’s almost always a few you might feel were more deserving. It’s hard for me to argue against Hilary Mantel ever winning pretty much any year or JG Farrell or Arundhati Roy, but then there’s definitely some real turds.
So this book was nominated in 2012, and like I said in my review of Lydia Millet, it’s terseness and its subject matter seem to either turn some readers off or create a disconnect to the plot itself.
Like a lot of novels, it’s the unspoken elements of a marriage and the secrets one keeps and trying to decide whether or not those secrets are toxic or merely the products of a healthy privacy.
Being a good American I am immediately made uncomfortable by someone walking around naked, even in France, and so while I generally enjoyed the novel, I also had a hard time connecting to the story and am always squeamish when there’s nudity.
I will say though that what this novel felt like to me was a stripped down (pun pun pun) version of an Iris Murdoch novel with the social satire removed. For good or bad.