I love reading my way through the Man Booker Prize long list and short list. It’s probably the greatest annual prize in fiction going with a whacking great £50k for the winner. One day Ill pen my novel and it will win!!! One day . . . hmmm! Anyhow my absolute favourite book from this year’s shortlist and the one I seriously hope wins is Graeme Macrae Burnet’s ‘His Bloody Project’.
I have never read a book like this before, it’s such a ridiculously cleaver idea. The basic conception is that Roderick Macrae has committed three murders, is arrested, and asked to write a memoir of the events that led up to the murders. This is then printed in full, followed by trial statements and physiological reports on Macrae. It’s so meticulously written and plotted; that a few times I thought surely this is all real, surely no one could have come up with such a brilliant premise, story and then execution. The style and concept is like nothing I have ever read before.
The memoir and then subsequent coroner’s reports, and eye witness statements are harrowing and you are led on a journey from feeling terribly sorry for Macrae, to feeling somewhat astonished at his acts, and then I felt I was left still questioning him and his motives. Burnet leads you on a real dance around truth never being particularly black or white, and poses some interesting questions over the innocence of youth and inexperience. After much contemplation after finishing the book I’m left feeling yes life was unfair to Roddy Macrae, but he was not quite as innocent as he would have you believe! I won’t give anything more away; you should read this book if for nothing else other than you will not have read anything similar before.
It’s published by Contraband and retails at £8.99 – I’ll be keeping a close eye out to see if this wins the big prize!