Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1979 Booker Prize Winner

Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald

       
 

Publisher: Collins

Length: 144 pages

About: London barge dwellers in 1960s

Style: 3rd person

Where: England (London)

When: 1960s

 

 

Publisher’s synopsis:

Offshore is set among the houseboat community who rise and fall with the tide of the Thames on Battersea Reach. Living between land and water, they feel as if they belong to neither…Maurice, a male prostitute, is the sympathetic friend to whom all the others turn. Nenna loves her husband but can’t get him back; her children run wild on the muddy foreshore. She feels drawn to Richard, the ex-RNVR city man whose converted minesweeper dominates the Reach. Is he sexually attractive because he can fold maps the right way? With this and other questions waiting to be answered, Offshore offers a delightful glimpse of the workings of an eccentric community.

 

Extract:

‘ARE we to gather that Dreadnought is asking us all to do something dishonest?’ Richard asked.

Dreadnought nodded, glad to have been understood so easily.

‘Just as a means of making a sale. It seems the only way round my problem. If all present wouldn’t mind agreeing not to mention my main leak, or rather not to raise the question of my main leak, unless direct enquiries are made.’

‘Do you in point of fact want us to say that Dreadnought doesn’t leak?’ asked Richard patiently.

‘That would be putting it too strongly.’

 

Reviews:

Good:

These characters are described with great care and skill. Ms. Fitzgerald excels at deft touches of characterization and dialogue.

The New York Times, Barbara Fisher, Williamson, 13th December 1987 for full review click here

 

Not so good:

I am sure the fault is entirely mine but Offshore left me feeling rather like I had spent several hours on a draughty barge: cold and with dampened enthusiasm for the whole experience.

The Observer, Elizabeth Day, 6th December 2009 for full review click here

 

About the author

Penelope Fitzgerald was born in December 1916. She was educated at Somerville College, Oxford and she worked for the BBC during World War II. She started writing at the age of 60 and was the author of nine novels, three of which - The Bookshop in 1978, The Beginning of Spring in 1988 and The Gate of Angels in 1990 - were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Penelope Fitzgerald died in April 2000 aged 83.

 

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<1978> -  <1980>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ratings

Adventure

 5

Filmability

 6

Historical

 5

Humorous

 7

Intellectuality

 5

Life-changing

 6

Page turner

 8

Readability

 9

Romance

 4

 

Age guide: 12

 

 

Novels by same author:

 

 

 

 

 

Adaptations:

None to date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© PWF.co.uk

 

2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

Click here

 

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