One Inch Wonders: Not The Booker Shortlist 2011

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August 19, 2011 by markstani

Here’s the opening paragraphs from the six books shortlisted for The Guardian’s highly democratic ‘Not The Booker’ Prize. As you might expect, it’s an unlikely, somewhat laddish, fiercely independent list. Definitely worthy of investigation.

Jude In London by Julian Gough (Old Street Publishing)

I left the iceberg behind me and swam towards England. Yes, somewhere in that dark and uncivilized land I would find her. Angela! The thought warmed my naked limbs, and drove me faster through the water.

The Dead Beat by Cody James (eight cuts gallery press)

‘Man, fucking Emeryville,’ Lincoln said, pausing in his stride to hock phlegm onto the sidewalk. We continued walking until we reached the house. I went up to the door and knocked very hard.

King Crow by Michael Stewart (Bluemoose Books)

When I look at people, I wonder what sort of birds they are. A photograph of the headmaster, Mr Hulmes, stares down from the display board. His profile reminds me a long-eared owl, with his large round face and flat nose, bushy eyebrows like the erect blackish ear-tufts of the bird.

Fireball by Tyler Keevil (Parthian Books)

Chris knew it was coming to an end. He didn’t say anything, but he didn’t have to. I could just tell. We’d gone down to the beach at Cates park to drink a few beers and throw away those stupid medals. That’s where it happened.

Spurious by Lars Iyer (Melville House Publishing)

I’m a terrible influence on W., everyone says that. Why does he hang out with me? What’s in it for him? The great and the good are shaking their heads. Sometimes W. goes back to the high table and explains himself. I am something to explain, W. says. He has to account for me to everyone. Why is that?

English Slacker by Chris Morton (Punked Books)

It was a beautiful day actually, probably the first of the summer. I felt like doing something before work so I phoned up Alex and Paul to see what they were up to, which I knew wouldn’t be much and they dropped round just as I was finishing breakfast.

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