Welcome… to Man vs Words

I should have called this Man vs Man, or Man vs Man Booker, but Man vs Words was as close as I could get to Man vs Food which is my main inspiration for this blog.

For those of you not familiar with the television phenomenon that is Man vs Food, it is, in a nutshell, a man eating a lot of food. It seems that most towns in America have a café or a restaurant with an eating challenge. The thirty gallon milkshake. The seven-foot po’ boy sandwich. The chip as big as a dog. That sort of thing. You get the idea. He eats them. That’s basically all you need to know.

The one thing the Man vs Food lacks, is highbrow culture. So I thought, what about, instead of eating food, I read the shortlisted novels of the Man Booker Prize from 1969 to the present day? Obvious really. When you think about it.

The concept is simple: every Thursday, Man vs Words will bring you new words.  (yes, I know today is a Wednesday, from now on it will be Thursday [except tomorrow, there is no post tomorrow]) The post on Thursday the 24th May will introduce 1969 as a year (and a concept, if you like). Then, over the next six weeks I will read and review all the books shortlisted for that year’ prize. (One review a week, always on a Thursday [YES I KNOW TODAY IS A WEDNESDAY]).

Then, of course, I write a post in which I spout on about what I think should have won it. And guess what? You get to spout too. And not just in the comments box (though you can do that too, I want you to do that) but in a super-duper poll which will decide the ultimate Man vs Words winner of the 1969 Man Booker Prize!

Then we do 1970, then we do 1971, then we do 1972, then…

In preparation for this blog I had a browse through all the Booker shortlists. There are a surprising number of new authors, let alone new books to explore. I am quite excited. I’m going to read them all. If I have read them before I will re-read them. Maybe we will discover some new favourites together. Won’t that be nice? I’ll probably chuck some knob jokes in too. Keep things lively and that. Won’t that be fun?

Right. Let’s do this!!!

Man vs Words is go. Get out your reading spoons.



6 thoughts on “Welcome… to Man vs Words

  1. What a great idea! I have been on a mission to read all the Man Booker prize winners (so far have just 2 left; the current one and one of the tied winners from 1974). I have also read many of the short listed books and am currently working on completing all the short lists back to 2000 (just a few left to go). I’ll be watching your blog to get recommendations for selections from earlier short lists.

    • Thank you. And good work you. I hope you are tempted to read some of these too. I’m not going to get to 2000 for some time…

  2. I’m glad there is at least one other person who shares my little obsession with the Man Booker! I have been trying to read the winners going backwards but haven’t got very far as of yet. After your review of England’s book, I think I may join you and start back in 1969. Can’t read as fast as you though – I’ve got two little boys at home who prevent me from reading more than 10 minutes as a time:) Looking forward to more of your reviews.

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