Once you get invested in something so niche like a book prize, it’s inevitable to start using your imagination too much, especially during these times of mental idleness, which is why I’m writing this post! Yay! As a warning, I’m under the delusion that I’m funny, so I apologize for that. Last year, I talked a bit about some strange coincidences on the 2019 longlist (Rachel also wrote an excellent post about that, which went a bit deeper into the comparisons!), so clearly that is something suspicious going on every year. This year I’m bringing to you conspiracy theories!
This is obvious, but just to be sure: I am clearly joking this entire post. I don’t hate any of the books (yet!!), and have enjoyed several of them so far! I admire the WP very much and will continue to read from their recommendations for years to come 🙂 so please don’t get mad!
The books suck this year so the Mantel will win
Obviously. With the exception of my perfect-can-do-no-wrong baby Woman, Girl, Other. Which leads me to the next one…
Since they had no idea how Brexit would go, they made sure that a UK author would win, just in case
Theory concocted by Hannah! Since our bets are on either Evaristo or Mantel, this seems like a rather obvious conclusion. They didn’t even try to be subtle.
How We Disappeared was added to the list to roast Girl
Really, read both and come tell me that’s not the case. Callum wrote a brilliant review comparing them! Girl WISHES it had the power of How we Disappeared.
There has to be at least one book that is absolutely terrible and the judges only added because they thought “Well, I had to read so you gotta suffer too!”
This year’s is… huh, maybe I don’t wanna go into it. I’ll let you guess.
The judges get extra points every time they add a Greek myth/history retelling
Really, they have a bingo. “Women suffering because of motherhood” is 2 points already, “Straight romantic relationships are hard” is 1 point and an extra point for a cheating husband. “Terrible book nobody knows how it got longlisted” is 3 points! (I clearly don’t understand bingo)
Weather was added because the judges were too lazy to read Ducks, Newburyport
The voice of the main character in Weather is quite similar to Ducks, Newburyport, and it’s basically a tl;dr version for people who don’t want to commit to several hundred pages of stream of consciousness. So clearly this is what happened. (Read Ducks, though!!)
They decided between the chunk Mantel or the brick that is Ducks by rolling dice
Two big really books just wouldn’t do – the judges have lives and things to do, places to go and no time to read BOTH. So they rolled a die and 1-3 the Mantel was in, 4-6 Ducks was in.
Margaret Atwood paid the judges not to longlist The Testaments
A big sum, too. Each judge got a yacht and a lifetime supply of sparkling rosé, plus free tickets to watch Frozen 2. All of this so as not to repeat the drama that was the Booker’s.