Tag Archives: Rupert Smith

And The Green Carnation Shortlist is…

It is my pleasure to announce that The Green Carnation Prize Shortlist 2010 (though it’s actually already on The Green Carnation site) is a brilliant selection of five books which are…

  • Paperboy – Christopher Fowler
    (Bantam Books)
  • God Says No – James Hannaham
    (McSweeneys)
  • London Triptych – Jonathan Kemp
    (Myriad Editions)
  • Children of the Sun – Max Schaefer
    (Granta)
  • Man’s World – Rupert Smith
    (Arcadia Books)

Why these five books? Well I cannot speak for the whole judging panel as a whole but I can say that we are all really, really pleased with this selection of books. Though it was blinking hard as the longlist was very strong!!!

Personally I can say that I  could happily recommend that you read each of the titles not only for the writing which I think is brilliant in every case I can recommend them individually Paperboy for its wit, voice and style as a memoir, God Says No for putting you into the mind set of someone I never thought I could understand and enraging you and making you laugh out loud, London Triptych for its characters (one of which might just be my favourite character of the year) and historical feel over the generations, Children of the Sun for being an importantly disturbing and shocking tale and Man’s World for its humour, emotion and more. I could go on and on about each and every one of them.

Can you tell that we have quite a mission ahead of us as a panel of judges? I think every single one of these books would be a worthy winner.

So what do you think of the short list? Have you read any of them?

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The Green Carnation Longlist 2010

A very tired man writes this up for you this morning. The Green Carnation judges met last night to sort out the submissions and after a long night of discussion, lively debate and frankly lots and lots of laughing (which is the way all good meetings should be)  we’ve got you a lovely longlist, well we hope you think its lovely. However, some of the judges didn’t go to bed until gone 1.30am, can’t think who one of them was!!

Anyway enough of that shenanigans, you all just want to know what this years Green Carnation Longlist (or the Green Carnation Bunch) 2010 is don’t you? So without further ado here are the eleven titles…

  • Generation A by Douglas Coupland (Windmill Books)
  • Bryant and May Off the Rails by Christopher Fowler (Doubleday)
  • Paperboy by Christopher Fowler (Doubleday)
  • In A Strange Room by Damon Galgut (Atlantic Books)
  • God Says No by James Hannaham (McSweeney’s)
  • London Triptych by Jonathan Kemp (Myriad Editions)
  • Mary Ann in Autumn by Armistead Maupin (Doubleday)
  • Children of the Sun by Max Schaefer (Granta)
  • Man’s World by Rupert Smith (Arcadia Books)
  • The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (Tuskar Rock Press)
  • City Boy by Edmund White (Bloomsbury)

None of us are going to release any official thoughts about the long list or each and every title and they were chosen as we feel if people read them then the books will speak for themselves. I do think its interesting that we have such a nice mix of debut authors, prolific and yet lesser known authors and some writing giants in the mix which is all unintentional because you judge on the writing… but more on that from me tomorrow. We also have two of the Man Booker Longlist which I think is quite interesting, and one author twice which I think will prove a talking point!

Rather than go on and on here I will hand over to you to start some discussion on the list. So what are your thoughts on the very first Green Carnation Longlist/Bunch? What have you read? What or who have you not heard of? Are any of you tempted to give some of them a go (we really would love it)? Are there any surprises?

I will pop back and chatter with you all day (when I am not dozing) and try and answer any questions I can and am allowed to! Oh and don’t forget to pop to The Green Carnation website where there is a rather smashing shot of the judges together. Right, let’s get discussing… oh and do spread the word if you can and would be so kind!

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Service Wash – Rupert Smith

One of the regulars at Polari is Rupert Smith and I decided that I should give one of his books a go, and Service Wash was the first on the list in Amazon. So I bought the book a few weeks ago and have been waiting for the perfect time to sit back and enjoy it, and after the Holocaust and beheading of Anne Boleyn I thought it was time for a book about celebrity.

I would just like to say I love the cover, though it has nothing to do with the actual story, I just think it’s a brilliant retro cheeky cover. Sorry I digress. This is the story of Eileen Weathers (who would be played fabulously by Ann Mitchell of Widows fame) who is like a younger Vera Duckworth kind of soap legend. She is at the peak of her fame and writing an autobiography that’s going seriously wrong, so Six Books part fo the soap franchise hire Paul Mackrell to ghost write it, Paul isn’t having much luck with literature and so decides to give it a go. What follows is a farce of mayhem, money and murder.

I really enjoyed this novel it made a nice break to have a book on the go that made me laugh and was all about the complexities and materialism of celebrity not some harrowing complex tale of loss love and betrayal – which I love you just need a break sometimes. Some people call this throwaway literature or a ‘good holiday read’ I call it entertainment as it entertained me for a good several hours.

Smith writes this book with a knowing edge, he has indeed ghost written an autobiography, written several TV-tie-in books and other novels you feel there is a lot of him in Paul. I would recommend this when you want some frivolous fun.

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