37 episodes

A weekly podcast featuring lively conversations and fascinating insights from the Booker Prizes. Join us as we revisit winning novels from years past, speak to authors and experts from the literary world and peer behind the curtain of this year's International Booker Prize and Booker Prize.

The Booker Prize Podcast The Booker Prize

    • Arts
    • 4.3 • 43 Ratings

A weekly podcast featuring lively conversations and fascinating insights from the Booker Prizes. Join us as we revisit winning novels from years past, speak to authors and experts from the literary world and peer behind the curtain of this year's International Booker Prize and Booker Prize.

    The Booker at the Oscars: The Remains of the Day

    The Booker at the Oscars: The Remains of the Day

    It’s the third and final installment in our mini-series where we revisit Booker Prize novels whose cinematic adaptations were nominated at the Academy Awards. In this episode, we’re taking a closer look at The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, which won the 1989 Booker Prize. Ishiguro’s moving portrait of the perfect English butler was adapted four years later by James Ivory, in a film which received eight nominations at the Oscars. Tune in to hear Jo and James discuss the novel – which also happens to be our March Monthly Spotlight – and its silver screen counterpart. 

    In this episode Jo and James:

    Share a brief biography of Kazuo Ishiguro

    Summarise the plot of the book, and share their thoughts on it

    Explore the character of Stevens and the idea of dignity which he based his life on

    Discuss the narrative devices Ishiguro uses throughout the novel

    Delve into James Ivory’s adaptation, and the differences between book and film


    Reading list:


    The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-remains-of-the-day



    An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/an-artist-of-the-floating-world



    A full transcript of the episode is available at our website.

    Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes.
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    • 57 min
    The Booker at the Oscars: The English Patient

    The Booker at the Oscars: The English Patient

    Welcome back to the second of our Booker at the Oscars mini-series where we explore Booker Prize novels whose silver screen adaptations went on to experience Academy Award success. This time we're revisiting The English Patient, the joint Booker Prize 1992 winner by Michael Ondaatje (the other winner was Barry Unsworth's Sacred Hunger) and its silver screen counterpart, directed by Anthony Minghella.

    In this episode Jo and James:

    Share a brief biography of Michael Ondaatje

    Summarise the plot of the book, and discuss their thoughts on it

    Explore the four main characters we meet in the novel

    Delve into Anthony Minghella's film adaptation and the differences between book and film


    Reading list:

    The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-english-patient


    Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/sacred-hunger


    Black Dogs by Ian McEwan: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/black-dogs


    Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-butcher-boy


    Warlight by Michael Ondaatje: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/warlight


    Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje

    The Histories by Herodotus

    In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje


    A full transcript of the episode is available at our website.

    Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes.
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    • 43 min
    What makes a classic novel? Plus six Booker Prize classics

    What makes a classic novel? Plus six Booker Prize classics

    When does a book transcend from contemporary literature to a classic? Does someone have to confirm its classic status? And can all Booker Prize novels be considered classics just by being part of the Booker canon? This, and more, is what Jo and James are trying to get to the heart of in this week's episode. Listen in as they discuss what makes a classic novel and chat about which Booker books should be known as classics.

    In this episode Jo and James:

    Consider what makes a classic

    Each pick three novels from the Booker Library that are – or should be – considered classics

    Discuss the plots of their chosen novels and why they are deserving of classic status


    Reading list:

    Something to Answer For by P.H. Newby: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/something-to-answer-for


    A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/a-month-in-the-country


    How Late It Was, How Late by James Kelman: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/how-late-it-was-how-late


    St. Urbain's Horseman by Mordecai Richler: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/st-urbains-horseman


    Atonement by Ian McEwan: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/atonement


    The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-remains-of-the-day


    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-handmaids-tale


    Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/shuggie-bain


    Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/schindlers-ark


    The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-english-patient


    Autobiography by Morrisey

    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

    Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/midnights-children


    The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-siege-of-krishnapur


    The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-conservationist


    Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/oscar-and-lucinda


    The Ghost Road by Pat Barker: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-ghost-road


    Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/disgrace


    Staying On by Paul Scott: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/staying-on


    The Famished Road by Ben Okri: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-famished-road


    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/cloud-atlas


    The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/the-line-of-beauty


    Autumn by Ali Smith: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/autumn


    Crudo by Olivia Laing

    No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/no-one-is-talking-about-this


    Waterland by Graham Swift: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/waterland


    G. by John Berger: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/books/g



    Read Alex Clark's piece, “Which novels in the Booker Prize archives should be considered classics?”: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/features/which-booker-prize-novels-should-be-considered-classics

    A full transcript of the episode is available at our website: https://thebookerprizes.com/the-booker-library/features/the-booker-prize-podcast-episode-33-what-makes-a-classic-novel

    Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes.
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    • 47 min
    The Booker at the Oscars: Schindler's Ark vs Schindler's List

    The Booker at the Oscars: Schindler's Ark vs Schindler's List

    It's Oscars season so we're off to the movies. Welcome to the first in a new mini-series where we explore Booker Prize novels whose silver screen adaptations went on to experience Oscar glory. We're starting with Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize 1982 winner, which also happens to be the first Booker-winning novel to become a film that won a Best Picture Oscar. Listen in as we dive into the book and its film counterpart.

    In this episode Jo and James:

    Share a brief biography of Thomas Keneally

    Revisit the origin story of Schindler's Ark

    Consider whether “non-fiction novels” are really novels

    Summarise the plot of the book, and discuss their thoughts on it

    Explore the character of Oskar Schindler

    Delve into Steven Spielberg's adaptation, Schindler's List, and the differences between book and film


    Reading list:

    Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally

    The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

    Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard

    Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner

    Erasure by Percival Everett

    The Trees by Percival Everett

    The Place at Whitton by Thomas Keneally

    The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith by Thomas Keneally

    Gossip from the Forest by Thomas Keneally

    Confederates by Thomas Keneally

    An Ice-Cream War by William Boyd

    The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally


    A full transcript of the episode is available at our website.
    Take a look at all of the TV and film adaptations of Booker Prize novels here.
    And to watch the full interview with Thomas Keneally, head to our YouTube channel here.
    Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 51 min
    Why Sally Rooney's Normal People is more than just a love story

    Why Sally Rooney's Normal People is more than just a love story

    Sally Rooney is one of the best-loved writers of her generation and her second novel, Normal People, has been overwhelmingly popular across the world – first in book form and then its TV adaptation. Nominated for the Booker Prize 2018, Normal People follows Marianne and Connell as they come of age and figure out their place in the world. It's a love story that has touched readers everywhere but it's also a novel that has something to say about class and politics, in particular. So tune in to this episode to hear Jo and James discuss our February Monthly Spotlight pick.

    In this episode Jo and James:

    Consider how the book became so popular

    Whether the haters have a leg to stand on

    Share a brief biography of Sally Rooney

    Summarise the plot of Normal People

    Discuss the themes explored in the novel


    Reading list:

    Normal People by Sally Rooney

    Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney

    Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney



    A full transcript of the episode is available at our website.

    Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 38 min
    Why you should read Shuggie Bain (If you haven't already)

    Why you should read Shuggie Bain (If you haven't already)

    A happy Burns Night to one and all. In honour of this day of celebration for ol' Rabbie Burns, and by extension all Scottish literature, we're taking a dive into one of the most popular Booker Prize winners: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. The novel, Stuart's debut, presents a blistering and heartbreaking exploration of the unsinkable love that only children can have for their damaged parents.

    In this episode Jo and James:

    Share a brief biography of Douglas Stuart

    Summarise the plot of Shuggie Bain

    Discuss their thoughts on the novel

    Delve into the characters, particularly Shuggie and his mother, Agnes

    Consider the idea of the divided self in Scottish literature


    Reading list:

    Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

    Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

    Loitering With Intent by Muriel Spark

    His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet


    A full transcript of the episode is available at our website.

    Follow The Booker Prize Podcast so you never miss an episode. Visit http://thebookerprizes.com/podcast to find out more about us, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok @thebookerprizes.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

Kaishalovesbooks ,

How did I not know this was a thing?!

I have LOVED everything about the Booker Prize from the judging process to trying to read through the Longlist and guess the winner. This is a podcast created for Uber book nerd. And it is wonderful.

mhcgrad ,

Can’t understand!

It is nearly impossible for a non-UK listener to understand him, and she laughs way too much! I can not listen which disappoints me terribly.

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