The Gordon Burn Prize Shortlist 2015

Sometimes it seems like it is another week and another book prize, however there are some quite different and unusual ones and for that reason (along with the fact that we all love a list of books don’t we?) I wanted to mention the announcement of The Gordon Burn Prize shortlist for 2015. One of these will join previous winners Pig Iron by Benjamin Myers and The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth (another two books I have been meaning to read for ages) when the winner is announced in October.

The criteria for the Gordon Burns Prize, set up by New Writing North with Faber & Faber, are books which challenge our perceived notions of genre and make us think again about just what it is that we are reading and non-fiction that explores in innovative and exciting ways topics that reflect Gordon Burn’s interests such as social history, sport, true crime, music, celebrity and art. Books where the reader begins to question the very nature of what he is reading. Fiction? Non-fiction? Faction?

 I think this sounds really interesting and (possibly bar sport) quite different which you all know I am a huge fan of. The shortlist has now been announced and the five books that judges actress Maxine Peake, authors Doug Johnstone and Roddy Doyle, journalist Suzanne Moore and artist Gavin Turk have chosen are…


I don’t have the books I stole this from Twitter, apologies to the owners but its for a good bookish cause 😉

  • In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile by Dan Davies (Quercus)
  • Midland by Honor Gavin (Penned in the Margins)
  • Noon Tide Toll by Romesh Gunesekera (Granta Books)
  • Original Rockers by Richard King (Faber & Faber)
  • Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev (Faber & Faber)

Now I have to say other than the Dan Davies, which with its subject matter of Jimmy Savile has had a lot of debate and discussion going on about it, I have not heard of any of the other books and that always makes me really, really excited. So for that reason, along with something that I will be able to tell you all about on Thursday, I have decided that I am going to read all of them before the winner is announced on Friday October the 9th ‘oop’ north in lovely Durham as part of their literature festival.

Have any of you read any of these titles? What did you make of them? Are there any that intrigue you, might you be up for reading all five? Have you read either of the previous winners, Benjamin Myers or Paul Kingsnorth? What are your thoughts on the more left field (and I think rather exciting) book prizes?


Filed under Book Thoughts, Gordon Burn Prize

6 responses to “The Gordon Burn Prize Shortlist 2015

  1. Midland was already on my wishlist, and I’ve now added Noon Tide Toll and Original Rockers. Not sure I really fancy the other two though – I certainly don’t think I could stomach the one about Savile. It’s an interesting list though – be interesting to hear what you make of them.

  2. I’ve got the Peter Pomerantsev, and this has made me even keener to read it than I was. I’ve seen the Savile one, but the others are new to me. Happy Like Murderers by Gordon Burn was one of the best true crime books I’ve read, but very disturbing. Ditto the Yorkshire Ripper one (Somebody’s Husband Somebody’s Son.) His premature passing was such a huge loss to good writing.

  3. Original Rockers is calling to me … I’d love to read that one, and the Pomerantsev.

  4. Louise

    I read The Wake, it was quite a challenge, as you spent the first few chapters getting used to the language and guessing/looking up words, because of the author’s use of his own version of old English, but it was interesting and I quite enjoyed it.

    I’d be interested in reading Noon Tide Toll and maybe Midland

  5. Pingback: Some Festival Festivities This Autumn | Savidge Reads

  6. Pingback: Shame – Melanie Finn | Savidge Reads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s