The winner of this year's Booker Prize will soon be announced - the ceremony revealing which of the six shortlisted titles will triumph takes place on Wednesday 3 November.
But last week the Browsers Booker Book Group gave its verdict...
(Before I go any further it's worth acknowledging that I don't think we've ever preempted the judges' decision!)
Certainly this year we found that the books were more readable than the novels which are usually selected. In particular, 'Great Circle' (spanning 600 pages) and 'The Fortune Men' provided more conventional plotlines and attention to 'story'.
One book, 'A Passage North', proved notably 'difficult' with some sentences lasting 20 lines, some paragraphs spanning 10 pages, and no real conclusion or explanation of the events which had been introduced earlier in the novel, our readers said.
Another of the books, 'Bewilderment', was considered 'bleak', 'intense', 'claustrophobic', but imaginative, and relevant and important in addressing climate change issues, according to our readers.
'No One is Talking About This' provoked the most divided and animated responses of all the titles. Described by two of our readers as a book of two halves which was crude, full of jargon with random thoughts and ideas, our other reader declared it brilliant, using form and contemporary language and devices to illustrate the impact of social media.
The book which achieved most positive comments from our three readers was 'The Promise' by Damon Galgut. Although it was described as an uncomfortable and unpleasant read, which required concentration and application to follow the narrative thread, it was considered an absorbing family saga with profound comments about contemporary issues concerning race in South Africa.
In a vote by our group, this was the book which was considered the likely winner, with 'The Fortune Men', written by the one British author on the shortlist, coming a close second. We'll have to wait and see what the judges decide.
Our regular book group meeting takes place again in a week's time (scroll down for details). We'll be discussing 'An Island' by Karen Jennings. If you'd like to come along, please reply to this email as I need to have an idea of numbers.
And next week I hope to be able to let you have details of an exciting author event taking place in person in Woodbridge next month. It's been a while, so I hope that the speaker will be of interest and you'll want to come along!
Thank you for reading.