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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012 12:57 pm
And the Hatchet Goes to . . .
Posted by: Keir Graff

He looks so nice, doesn't he?

The winner of the Hatchet Job of the Year Award has been announced. For his 1,000-word evisceration of Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall, Adam Mars-Jones takes the cake (with a golden hatchet in it, naturally) and a year’s supply of potted shrimp, too. Judge Sam Leith praised Mars-Jones’ savage attack thusly:

“Adam Mars-Jones’s review of Michael Cunningham had everything a reader could hope for in a hostile review. It was at once erudite, attentive, killingly fair-minded and viciously funny.”

For more, see “Adam Mars-Jones wins Hatchet Job prize for book review” (BBC) or read the review itself. Booklist‘s Donna Seaman, by the way, found the book “exquisite,” and we stand  by that—but that doesn’t mean we can’t be entertained by a different opinion.


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