Book Review: Lost for Words, by Edward St Aubyn

Lost for Words, a novel by the rather charmingly cv_lost_for_wordsnamed Edward St Aubyn, is a satire onthe Man Booker Prize for Fiction – which meant that Eleanor Catton was very much on my mind as I read. Featuring a cross-section cast of the literary elite, Lost for Words particularly pokes fun at the pretension, ineptitude and general ill-qualification of the prize’s judges. The plot follows one iteration of the Elysian Prize from the assembly of the judging committee to the announcement of the winner.

Of course, a novelist satirising literature’s highest prize for novels cannot help but appear to be, at best, self defeating, and, at worst, harbouring rather sour grapes. This feeling only intensifies when you realise that one of St Aubyn’s previous novels, Mother’s Milk, was Booker shortlisted in 2006, and failed to win. Then everything gets odder when you learn that, with Lost for Words…

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