Gold: Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. Perfect writing. We’d like to imagine it was pounded out on a typewriter that has no corrective tape in one masterful sitting. When Penguin plans to release a 50th Anniversary Edition, if any in-house “genius” offers edit it, the blockhead should be sent to Abu Ghraib for re-education. Not one word can be altered.
Silver: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Too long…yes, but enlightening via illustration. Read it. It will change your perspective on everyone, including you.
Bronze: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. Some strands of the story aren’t as riveting as others, but at the end you’ll sound like a Saturday morning English Premiere League commentator after a wonder goal struck on the half-volley “Brilliant! Juuuust Brilliant!!!”
Unfortunately, there were a lot of clunkers this year, but a proper shout-out for Absurdistan, Fahrenheit 451, An Actor Prepares (Short Story) and The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn, each of which stand out from the mostly bombs we read this year. If you want to read more detailed reviews, click on the word “Home” & scroll down. Happy Festivus.