Mon 18 November 2019
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Books of the Year for Christmas: Fiction
Frances Wilson, one of the judges of this year’s Man Booker prize, selects the highlights from a strong year for novels. including Tom McCarhty, Howard Jacobson, Andrea Levy and Ian McEwan.

‘Only connect,” E M Forster famously suggested in Howards End. One hundred years later, in the eerie days of emails, when a “text” has become something that flies through the ether before buzzing out of a phone, connections are still the concern of the novel. Only today’s novelists are playing with different kinds of connections, or wondering whether we might have finally connected too much.

Tom McCarthy’s C (Cape, £16.99) opens in a school for the deaf during the birth of wireless technology, a time when the air was filled with a thousand twanging instruments and words have become a rhythm played out across a line. His hero is called Serge, as in electrical, and McCarthy’s high-voltage writing runs through the reader like a charge.

For the other nine

The Telegraph

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