The Book Club Review

The Booker Prize 2023 • Episode 153

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Episode notes

We read all six Booker shortlisted books, now join us as we evaluate them and try to second-guess the Booker judges, before finding out the winner - don't miss our hot take.

'A novel is a mirror carried along a high road' says Chair of the Booker judges Esi Edyugan, quoting Stendhal. ‘Year after year’, she continues, ‘the Booker Prize encourages us to take sight of ourselves in the lives of others, to slip for the length of a story into different skins, to grapple with unfamiliar worlds that allow us to see our own afresh.'

Unsurprisingly, seeing the world as it is right now has led to the most downbeat shortlist in our collective memory, but that doesn't mean these books don't make for fantastic discussion. As ever, we won't spoil the plots we'll just give you a sense of what we thought of them.

Join me, Kate, with Laura, our regular guest Phil Chaffee, and first-timer, book blogger Martin Voke, as we talk through 

The Bee Sting by Paul Murray (audiobook narrated by Heather O’Sullivan, Barry Fitzgerald, Beau Holland, Ciaran O'Brien, Lisa Caruccio Came and published by Penguin Audio)

Prophet Song by Paul Lynch (audiobook narrated by Gerry O’Brien and published by Bolinda Audio @bolindaaudio @borrowbox)

If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery (audiobook narrated by Torian Brackett and published by Fourth Estate)

Western Lane by Chetna Maroo (audiobook narrated by Maya Saroya and published by Picador)

This Other Eden by Paul Harding (audiobook narrated by Eduardo Ballerini, and published by Penguin Audio)


Study for Obedience by Sarah Bernstein (narrated by Sarah Bernstein and published by Granta)

And for a deep dive into the winner and all fifty-seven previous winners of The Booker Prize don't miss Martin's website On the Prize