Booker longlist reaction

Well susan Hill had promised a fresh list of books for the longlist .But in my opinon what we got was ground shaking .Books new to most people ,the shock wave on twitter was noticable as people tried to find out more about the listed books ,also why the list was so different than peoples ideas of what shoulkd have been there .The fact smaller publishers have been picked is good thing in this modern age .

• Julian Barnes  The Sense of an Ending
• Sebastian Barry On Canaan’s Side
• Carol Birch Jamrach’s Menagerie
• Patrick deWitt The Sisters Brothers
• Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues
• Yvvette Edwards A Cupboard Full of Coats
• Alan Hollinghurst The Stranger’s Child
• Stephen Kelman  Pigeon English
• Patrick McGuinness The Last Hundred Days
• AD Miller Snowdrops
• Alison Pick Far to Go
• Jane Rogers The Testament of Jessie Lamb
• DJ Taylor Derby Day

so there it is, of the titles I ve read none I have two on my tbr pile ,a quick trip to library yesterday came back blank .Some of them aren’t out yet thou  .From the list the ones that grab my eye are Patrick Mcguiness the last hundred days set in the dying days of the Ceauceaus regime in Romania from the small publisher seren ,snowdrops Andrew miller set in Russia a thriller about a young Englishman struggling with the temptations of new Russia .I ve sister brother and strangers child on tbr ,I m not sure what others I will read maybe wait to see what makes shortlist .Is this shake up of longlist a good thing ,in some ways as there are a number of smaller publishers on the list ,but you have to question why so many people got so few books that are on the list right .Are we seeing the depth of English writing or a small choice by five judges set on shaking the booker order  for the sake of it ? I don’t know the answer as many of you know I am more interested in translations and world lit ,but always look at the booker as the barometer of what is good or interesting in English at the moment .so in that respect I think they have got it wrong and a good few books have missed out on the longlist .

What are your thoughts ?

Did the booker need shaking up ?


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nana Fredua-Agyeman
    Jul 28, 2011 @ 15:26:18

    I couldn’t predict because my reading focus in not ‘very’ international. Besides, even if I keep it international, which I sometimes do by reading other books, I cannot keep up with new publications due to availability (note that I can’t/don’t make purchases via the internet).

    However, I followed a few predictions: yours, the guardian, and another (which I’ve entirely forgotten. Perhaps, I’ve to search my browsing history to dig that one up). What was common was that most of the predictors missed most of the books. The only book(s) that was not missed was/were: Hollinghurts’ The Stranger’s Child and Barnes’ The Sense of Ending.

    Waterline, There but for the, At Last, were all left out. I cannot argue that this longlist is not watertight. All I can say is it represents the judges’ best.


  2. Gavin
    Jul 28, 2011 @ 16:42:29

    It must be difficult choosing what titles make the longlist, all I know is that the Man Booker lists have introduced me to authors I probably wouldn’t have found on my own. And maybe including those smaller publishing houses is a way for the judges to break open the hold on the market held by the big multinational publishing corporations.

    I’ve had Pigeon English on the pile by my desk since last Friday, so I’m excited about that, also have Snowdrops and Far to Go on hold at the library.
    I’ve also got your prediction list, and several others, to add to my TBR list. Yikes!


  3. Judith
    Jul 28, 2011 @ 21:32:43

    Hi, Stu,
    Even though most of the Longlist is not available to me in the US at the moment, I do definitely agree that it’s a good thing that many small presses had their titles recognized. Unlike large publishers, small ones cannot respond quickly to high demand, so people may have to wait and wait to read some of these books.

    Yet, I agree with you that many, many books of the highest quality were not recognized. I think, too, that the Booker judges may have been leaning overboard on the diversity bandwagon.

    Warm wishes,
    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)


    • winstonsdad
      Jul 30, 2011 @ 13:45:34

      Irt seems a strange one ,I can see a better short list there are books that would make shortlist seem ok ,but lot of other books total outsiders to me and lot of other peole ,all the best stu


  4. JoV
    Jul 29, 2011 @ 08:25:29

    Every year I feel more and more distance from Man Booker Prize. Even when I try to read the past winners I feel I can’t connect and enjoy many of them. But the shortlist provides some amazing and entertaining list though. So I don’t dismiss the shortlist but now that you said they are not even out there on the shelf or in the library just makes you wonder if this is a marketing tactic to promote sales from small publishers or to shake up? but let us not forget that whoever are selected for the shortlist or winner, publishers and authors alike, one should win by merits and not for any other reasons.


    • winstonsdad
      Jul 30, 2011 @ 13:42:56

      I agree in 80/90’s I loved the books on the booker but it seems to get less every year but not sure its me or the books I thoink it is me as I read more from other places maybe the booker books seems a little dull to me ,all the best stu


  5. Mystica
    Jul 31, 2011 @ 08:11:15

    The Allison Pick and D J Taylor are the ones I want to get hold of.


  6. Milo Rambles
    Jul 31, 2011 @ 10:35:21

    Nice post as usual mate. I haven’t read either but I’d certainly like to read Alison Pick and Jane Rogers.


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July 2011


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