1975 short list: Thomas Keneally, Gossip from the Forest, Collins

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GossipfromtheForest01

I didn’t really enjoy Thomas Keneally’s Gossip from the Forest, but I did enjoy learning about this particular piece of history—the peace negotiations that brought World War I to a close–and having my perspective on it totally upended. At great 

1974

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1974

Weather emergencies and natural disasters. Global recession. Escalating oil prices. It must be . . .1974. This was the year the world population hit 4 billion and the global recession intensified, with energy costs wreaking havoc and creating inflationary spirals 

Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist

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The Conservationist

In an essay on Nadine Gordimer’s life and career, Per Wästberg calls The Conservationist “a kind of sequel to the first classic of South African literature, Olive Schreiner’s The Story of an African Farm (1883)” (“Nadine Gordimer and the South 

C.P. Snow, In Their Wisdom

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C.P. Snow, In Their Wisdom

Snow’s novel puzzled me. It was only 345 pages long, but it felt like a much longer novel. Perhaps because it dealt with the conduct of a legal case—a challenge to an inheritance and a later appeal—as well as a 

Beryl Bainbridge, The Bottle Factory Outing

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The-Bottle-Factory-Outing

I don’t know what’s up with the judges this year, but I got the same weird vibe from Bainbridge’s The Bottle Factory Outing that I got from Amis’s Ending Up. The jacket copy describes this novel as “very funny,” and more 

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