- Invite 11 book bloggers from the US, UK, India, Australia, and France
- Serve them the 15 books longlisted for the IFFP 2015
- let them munch on them for a month, until they decide which 6 novels are delightful to their reading palate
- let them argue and discuss through a week of numerous email exchanges
- finally have them vote
and the winner of the year is…:
The End of Days
(Aller Tage Abend)
by Jenny Erpenbeck,
tr. Susan Bernofsky
by New Directions Publishing Corporation
A worthy runner-up was Zone, by Mathias Énard, which I did not manage to finish myself, even though it is originally a French novel…
Read my review here
Read reviews by the other shadow panelists
My final verdict for this title was:
Great piece of literature reflecting on life circumstances and how a small detail could change everything. Illustrated with a unique original structure and writing style. Perfect if you enjoy trying something different.
Tonight, the official IFFP winner will be announced. As this book is part of the official short-list, it may indeed be the official winner.
The IFFP Shadow Panel has been a very interesting experience. It was great sharing with others reading the same books.
Also, I was even more able to appreciate the benefits of my local library and our library network. So many others complained of not finding the books: all the ones I wanted to read I got from my library, and on time, except one!
I discovered 3 amazing authors (Bannerhed, Erpenbeck and Ismailov, whom I may not have heard about otherwise). I repeat that, even if it is not our winner Bannerhed’s book is so far my favorite book read this year.
BUT at the same time, I started and DNFed a good number of books. Seeing the huge number of titles on my TBR, and in there books my authors I enjoy very much on a regular basis, it did feel like a waste of time. Plus I had so many other books already scheduled for review when signed up, so there was a lot of pressure.
So I am not sure I will participate again next year. The main thing will be not to sign up for scheduled review in May, and see then if the longlist can be potentially interesting. The American equivalent version of this award is very good too, but the longlist is way too long to commit myself to it. Or I may do something with their shortlist. We’ll see, stay tuned!
HAVE YOU READ ANY OF IFFP BOOKS?
WHICH ONE WOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR WINNER?
Look Who’s Back
Look Who’s Back
by Timur Vermes
Translated by Jamie Bulloch
Thanks to Quercus for sending me Look Who’s Back. Alas, it did not make it on the short list neither for the official IFFP list nor for our Shadow list, but still, I personally think this is a wonderful book and certainly the most hilarious literary novel I have read for years!
Click to continue reading