Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Man Booker longlist

As mentioned, I have challenged myself to read all Man Booker winners and enjoying them so far. I have also decided to read the Man Booker 2009 Longlist announced today. The longlist nominated novels are as follows:

Byatt, AS The Children's Book

Coetzee, J M Summertime

Foulds, Adam The Quickening Maze

Hall, Sarah How to Paint a Dead Man

Harvey, Samantha The Wilderness

Lever, James Me Cheeta

Mantel, Hilary Wolf Hall

Mawer, Simon The Glass Room

O'Loughlin, Ed Not Untrue & Not Unkind

Scudamore, James Heliopolis

Tóibín, Colm Brooklyn

Trevor, William Love and Summer

Waters, Sarah The Little Stranger

I have read three of the thirteen nominated titles: The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey, Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín, and The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (titles link to my reviews). I am delighted to see the first on the list, happy to see the second, and I expected to see the third; my redux post devoted to The Little Stranger suggested that I had missed something special on my first reading and although I am still not completely convinced, a place on the longlist supports my suspicions.

Some of the titles I hadn't heard of and another -Wolf Hall- I am not overly thrilled at having to read and not just because of its tome-like length. It is also going to take the longest to arrive in the library for me so it will be read last (I hope that the library request some more copies as otherwise I won't be able to read it in time). Neither Summertime and Love and Summer have been published yet but I have pre-ordered copies; everything else I have managed to reserve from my library and Me Cheeta, the one I am most surprised and intrigued by, I bought cheaply from Amazon. I haven't fully caught up on reading a synopsis for them all but so far the Coetzee is the one I am most looking forward to reading.

What about you? are you reading the longlist this year or wanting to read any you may be interested by? Are you excited by or happy to see some on the list?

The shortlist will be announced on September 8th and then the prize will be awarded to this year's winner on October 6th, which leaves me with ten weeks to read ten books.

At time of going to press I am also reading 1984 winner Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner so look out for a review of that in coming posts. My sincerest apologies for the Booker-orientated road this blog is taking but this year's prize will only be a brief sojourn -interrupted by Persephone Reading Week- and normal service will resume in October!


verity said...

I shall follow your progress with interest. I shall read the Coetzee in due course, and possibly the Mawer and Trevor. I have enough else to keep me occupied!!

farmlanebooks said...

I am going to read them all too, but I only have 8 left, so can go at a more leisurely pace.

I was surprised to see Sarah Waters on the long list, because despite the twist I don't think it is strong enough. I will be surprised to see it on the short list.

I'm looking forward to reading all of them - I've got the ones I didn't want to read out of the way already!

claire said...

Never apologize for the barrage of Booker posts coming, it will be a pleasure! I started my blog after having followed a few review blogs last year who were reading the longlist (though I didn't realized they were not professional reviewers then). My love affair with Booker has been wonderful, so it'll be a treat to follow you. :)

I won't be reading them all right now, as I've way too many challenges to still finish, and as I'll be waiting for paperbacks probably. I still have to read the ones from last year, didn't want to get the hardcovers.

claire said...

P.S. That does look like a good list, though. I'm especially excited about the Coetzee, although I've been lusting over the Byatt for months but waiting for the paperback still.

Good luck!!!!!

Paperback Reader said...

You do indeed, Verity! Regrettably my summer reading will need to take a back seat until another season but I'm going to try to get as much read in the next week or so as I can; I can't see any of the library books being available to collect until next week and their transit system seems to be on the blink.

Jackie, rub it in! I am hoping that Wolf Hall doesn't make the shortlist and then I can only read 50 pages or so.

I was expecting The Little Stranger on the list but not because I think she should be there. However, there aren't many books that generate the speculation and post-reading analysis that her novel did. I also suspect that it may be because she would have won in 2002 for Fingersmith if Life of Pi wasn't so original and she's the new Ian McEwan...

Claire, I hope that my progress is fun to follow! Luckily I have been able to borrow most of them as I wouldn't have been able to buy all harbacks. The Coetzee though is a treat to myself and is the one I am most looking forward to. Overall I am very excited by the list and looking forward to starting reading them all. It should make for an interesting first Bookerthon (my friend attempted it last year and he found it soul-destroying so I'm hoping that I fare better!)

Anonymous said...

They do look like an interesting selection. I have so far only read one of them so I am proper behind but we do have a month and I refuse to stress or be stressed by them. I am going to read The Wilderness again think hurried it too much first time for The Orange and missed something!

Paperback Reader said...

Simon, I agree that we shouldn't stress ourselves. At least a number of them are a "decent" length!
I wish you luck and hope you enjoy the reread of The Wilderness! I savoured it slowly and it helped, I think.

Laura said...

I can't wait to see your thoughts on the longlisted books because I'm not likely to get to them anytime soon.

I'd also like to invite you to join a perpetual challenge that I host, The Complete Booker. Participants post reviews as they read the books. It started out focused on winners only, but most folks also read & review short- and long-listed works as well.

If you (or anyone else reading this) are interested, pop on over to the challenge blog and click on "How to Join"!

Paperback Reader said...

Thank you for the invite, Laura, and I'll be sure to join this week.
I hope you enjoy my progress and live vicariously through my reading.

For everyone following and interested in the nominees, the following gallery on The Guardian is good. The ones I haven't heard of before excite me the most, especially The Quickening Maze, Love & Summer, and Cheeta.

Paperback Reader said...

Oops, I forgot the link!


claire said...

Claire, I just realized a few of those titles are indeed available on paperback so probably will read some. Maybe The Wilderness and How to Paint..

I'm saving Summertime and Love&Summer for next summer, though. I've decided on reading seasonal after my challenges. :D

Paperback Reader said...

Claire, that's great about the paperbacks. The Wilderness has been of my favourite books read so far this year!

I love seasonal reading and I'm happy that those two will feature at the tale end of summer for me, seeing as most of my own summer reading will be taking a back seat to the list now. Good plan!

Darlene said...

I am very intrigued by the William Trevor book and will probably read it once it comes into the library. Wolf Hall will probably be given a go at some point as well. The Children's Book keeps coming up for me at the library and I keep sending it back as I want to take my time with that one so it will be a Fall read. As for Me Cheeta, I was listening to a podcast the other day and a reviewer quite liked that one so hopefully you enjoy it as well. I think a bunch of people should corner Sarah Waters in a room and not let her out until she spills a few things!

Paperback Reader said...

Darlene, I think I will probably start with Me Cheeta as I most intrigued by that and I am really excited about The Quickening Maze.

Green Road said...

That's a very interesting list. Best of luck reading the whole lot. Do you have any guesses on which one will make the shortlist?

Paperback Reader said...

The list excites me, Green Road; it should be fun reading (most of) them.

The shortlist will whittle the list down to six and then the winner. I can't determine until I've read them but I think Coetzee and Byatt will definitely be on the shortlist and Sarah Waters won't make it. I suspect Brooklyn won't either and I hope that The Wilderness does.

It's too early to speculate and undoubtedly I will change my mind once I have read them but I am laying my money down now (figuratively) on Coetzee for his third win.

Samantha said...

I know I won't get to them all and so I am choosing about eight of them to read - of which I probably won't finish either ;-)

Paperback Reader said...

Samantha, eight is still a great attempt! I still have six to read... At least I'm more than halfway through. I think the longlist this year offers a versatile range, with something for everyone.