Thursday, July 24, 2014

Man Booker 2014: The longlist challenge is ON

Well, well, well, it's an interesting old longlist this year (nothing at all like my ideas - oh what a surprise :-)

There's 13 books longlisted. They are:

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, Joshua Ferris (Viking)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (Chatto & Windus)
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Serpent's Tail)
The Blazing World, Siri Hustvedt (Sceptre)
J,  Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape)
The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth (Unbound)
The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (Sceptre)
The Lives of Others, Neel Mukherjee (Chatto & Windus)
Us, David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Dog, Joseph O'Neill (Fourth Estate)
Orfeo, Richard Powers (Atlantic Books)
How to be Both, Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
History of the Rain, Niall Williams (Bloomsbury)

It's a dude-heavy list, with Fowler and Hustvedt the only women on it, but not an American-heavy list (there are only 4 Americans - Fowler, Hustvedt, Ferris and Powers).

I won't say any more about it now, as I am going to do a longlist survey article for Global Comment shortly and you can read it all there! I will say this, though:

- Longlisting FIVE books that won't even be released until September is dirty pool for all the longlist tragics like me who are trying to beat the shortlist clock. Grrrrrrr.

- No Tim Winton yayyyyyyyyy

I have already read the lovely We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (review here) and am kicking off the rest of the list with Siri Hustvedt's The Blazing World. My intention is to get a review of that one up by early next week, then onwards and upwards to the Flanagan, which I put off when it appeared on the Miles Franklin longlist and really feel I should read now.

After that, we'll see. I think I'd like to read the Ferris - it sounds very interesting. I really want to read The Bone Clocks and The Dog, but neither is even out yet. I'll get as far as I can before 11 September shortlist announcement, and clean up the stragglers, hopefully, before the prize is announced.

This is going to be fun!

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