The Booker Prize long list was published on 25th July. The jury’s choice of the 12 best novels of the year. Those unfortunates who know me will know that for several years I have attempted to read , first the short-list, now the long-list before the prize is awarded. In ten years I have only managed to do this three times, four other times being one book short (on three of those occasions my missing book turned out to be the winner).
This year I am going to go for it again, but will also post brief reviews of the books as I go. These will not be detailed well thought out reviews, more first thought offloadings when I finish each.
I should also say that the Booker jury and I are rarely in agreement over which book (of those picked) should win. To give you an idea of this, and what to expect from my short reviews, the last 5 winners were:
Julian Barnes – The Sense of an Ending
Howard Jacobsen – The Finkler Question
Hilary Mantel – Wolf Hall
Aravind Adiga – The White Tiger
Anne Enright – The Gathering
[The only one of these I didn’t even thing deserved to be on the shortlist never mind win, was The Finkler Question. Fan of Jacobsen, but found little to recommend in this book]
My winners would have been:
Julian Barnes – The Sense of an Ending*
Peter Carey – Parrot and Oliver in America
Simon Mawer – The Glass Room (although Wolf Hall was impressive, I didn’t think it lived up to the hype)
Sebastian Barry – The Secret Scripture
Ian McEwan – On Chesil Beach *
*I accept arguments that both of these should possibly not be chosen for being novellas not novels
The Short list will be announced on 11 September 2012 and the winner of the 2012 prize will be announced on Tuesday 16 October. 12 Books, 10 weeks, let’s get reading!
First up for 2012 will be Communion Town by Sam Thompson. ¾ read, so review soon.