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Friday, 1 October 2010

Damon Galgut - In A Strange Room - Man Booker Shortlist


What a strong list they are this year. This is a small book some 180 pages but my goodness it packs a powerful punch.
The author experiments with punctuation in this novel and we have no speech marks. This normally irritates me. However, here is only serves to increase the dream like quality of the writing. This book is made up of three journeys. The first two are written in the third person, and we get this kind of detached , dreamy voyeurism, that is a little creepy but very compelling. Then in the third section we move from Africa to India and are brought shockingly into the first person and our emotions are put on an emotional ride that is disturbing and effective. This book stayed with me a long time after I read it. I am at a loss as to how to describe the effect it has or how it is achieved, it is not poetic but it compels and binds in the same way.
So far this is the one I think should win - extraordinary.

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