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Friday, July 30, 2010

The 2010 Man Booker Longlist


On July 27, the highly expected Man Booker Long List of 13 novels has been announced. There are only two annual book prizes that really interest me not only for the winner, but for the general selections and shortlist, namely in sff the AC Clarke prize and in literary fiction the Man Booker, both happening to be UK based prizes and the last opened only to Commonwealth authors.

Last year's Man Booker longlist and shortlist have been very fruitful, providing me with 6/13 and 4/6 respectively - including the
eventual winner - interesting reads. Not only that but my overall top 2009 novel The Children's Book by AS Byatt and my #3 overall novel and the Man Booker winner Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel came from that list.

This year the list seems considerably less interesting for me. It has
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet which was my #1 non-sff anticipated novel of 2010 and for which I begged shamelessly for an arc a long time ago and upon getting it, I read it several timers and reviewed it and then it has Parrot and Olivier in America which I bought upon release but kind of lost interest after 150 pages or so, though I plan to finish it and review it at some point.

I also read several times from The Long Song and I covered almost all the book, though I should read it end to end too. Other than that and from the blurb only C seems of interest to me, though I will take a look at the others as they appear in store or library here.

The USSR 1952 book - The Betrayal - seems to be a sequel and I remember vaguely checking out the previous installment The Siege though I will try it again, while several of the books are definitely of very little interest as neither boarding school nor suburbia tempts me in the least...

So a little bit of a disappointment at least compared with 2009, but still a diverse list that gives a taste of the critically acclaimed current fiction from the Commonwealth.

The List:

Peter Carey Parrot and Olivier in America

Emma Donoghue Room

Helen Dunmore The Betrayal

Damon Galgut In a Strange Room

Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question

Andrea Levy The Long Song

Tom McCarthy C

David Mitchell The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Lisa Moore February

Paul Murray Skippy Dies

Rose Tremain Trespass

Christos Tsiolkas The Slap

Alan Warner The Stars in the Bright Sky

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