"G", by Mr. John Berger is the work of his that won the distinguished, "Booker Prize". What is perhaps more remarkable is that this was completed while he had published the first two, and was completing the final volume of his, "Into Their Labours Trilogy". This trilogy is one that I just read and I feel it is the best of his work that I have had the pleasure to read. Perhaps as it was broken into separate volumes and issued over 15 years made recognition of the trilogy impossible.
This work is different as we begin learning about, "The Protagonist" long before he has been born, and it is quite later on that he is finally referred to as, "G". The only time he actually takes his Father's name is when it is in the form of a falsified passport, which in the context of the story is as it should be. G has an extraordinarily eventful life, however it is devoid of a traditional Family. It is this method of his being raised that leads him to become a veritable predator of woman. But it is not just G who describes what he has planned and what he experiences, but also the women he pursues. However the Author that sets the stage for the events between G and his female friends offers another layer of insight.
The Author's voice is present and at times the dominant presence in the narrative. This book reminded me at times of Mr. Berger's works of non-fiction when he takes the senses that we use without thought and explains their workings so they become fascinating. He makes them this way not by explaining how they perform their tasks, but how they collect and interpret information well in excess of what we are consciously aware of.
I thought G personified an individual who was focused on one basic drive of all animals while being oblivious to what was really going on around him. Observations are made for him, as are the interpretations. This is a man who goes through momentous events in History with barely a nod in there direction, while obsessing himself with a planned affair, insult, or other ego satisfying triviality. His lack of perspective and his careless interest in what is important eventually gain his attention. And when this happens the irony is that the attention he receives he has done nothing to deserve other than to be blissfully ignorant.
I would have given this 5 stars, but after Mr. Berger's trilogy I cannot. This is still a splendid read by a master writer that should not be missed.