Man Booker 2009… 5 Out of 13 Ain’t Bad!

Okay, okay so I didn’t guess the Man Booker Long List but compared to my two correct guesses last year I don’t think that five is that bad? Yes, the Man Booker Long List has been announced, just over two and a half hours ago and the long listed novels are… 

  • The Children’s Book – A. S. Byatt
  • Summertime – J. M. Coetzee
  • The Quickening Maze – Adam Foulds
  • How To Paint A Dead Man – Sarah Hall
  • The Wilderness – Samantha Harvey
  • Me Cheeta – James Lever
  • Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
  • The Glass Room – Simon Mawer
  • Not Untrue & Not Unkind – Ed O’Loughlin
  • Heliopolis – James Scudamore
  • Brooklyn – Colm Toibin
  • Love & Summer – William Trevor
  • The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters

The ones I guessed are in bold (you can see the others below) and I think the winner will be… I have no idea actually. I am disappointed that neither Jude Morgan nor Kamila Shamsie haven’t made it onto the list, the latter I think a few people will genuinely be shocked about. Am I going to read the Long List? Well yes I am going to give it a whirl and the publishers are behind me reading them which is very nice to know and also saves me around £260. I do think hardbacks are too expensive, sorry am drifting off onto another topic. 

I have already read ‘The Wilderness’ by Samantha Harvey but am going to read it again, slowly as I think I rushed it last time plus my review has never shown up and I have jiggled with it and allsorts. I don’t think I am going to re-read ‘The Little Stranger’ though unless it makes the shortlist as I read it quite recently. I will say in regard to that book that my opinion of it has greatly changed. I went from liking it to liking it very much after re-reading the last chapter, that’s all I will say. I can see this being one of the books people might moan about being long listed. We will see. 

What is quite funny is I could have guessed six out of thirteen as ‘The Converted One’ (previously known as ‘The Non Reader’) has already read Heliopolis by James Scudamore and absolutely loved it and indeed has even been raving about it to me. It’s set in Brazil where ‘The Converted One’ is from and I have now been told, and I quote “that one should win because its based in Brazil and Brazil is the best” I will see when I start reading it over the weekend. I actually found a picture of ‘The Converted One’ which seemed apt both to the new nickname and to the Man Booker theme today. It was taken on the train to Manchester a few weeks ago… 

From 'Non-Reading' to 'Man Booker Reading'

From 'Non-Reading' to 'Man Booker Reading'

I shall leave you with that for now and you can let me know just what you think of the Long List, I think its going to cause quite some debate. Do you think it’s the right 13? Have you heard of all of them? Have you read some of the more obscure ones? Should any definitely not be in there? Which books are you furious didn’t make it?  Do divulge all!


Filed under Book Thoughts, Man Booker

13 responses to “Man Booker 2009… 5 Out of 13 Ain’t Bad!

  1. Simon, I think you did very well! I thought the same five would make the list although I hoped Wolf Hall wouldn’t (Jackie’s review and the length put me off). The Children’s Book I went from looking forward to publication to being bored of reading pottery descriptions in reviews to having my interest piqued again now that it is on the longlist and I have heard a trusted opinion.

    I haven’t heard of a number of them, some only vaguely. I am most looking forward to Summertime after loving Disgrace earlier this month and I am looking forward to some great books and surprises in them!

    I have read 3/13.

    Love the photo and its aptness! Great book too (can’t wait for Yann Martel’s new book next year).

  2. Glad you like the pic though The Converted One might kill me for uploading it but hey ho! I think Heliopolis looks like it might be quite different and am bizarrely REALLY looking forward to Me Cheeta!

  3. Me too! I think it’s going to be a fun read and I will probably be my first from the list (other than the ones I have already read) as I expect it to arrive through the letterbox before the others do at the library.

  4. My other half hates it when his picture ends up on the blog, but you know, we readers like that kinda thing. And you have to admire his national loyalty! (And his reading choice of Life of Pi!)

    I’m hopeless when it comes to getting to very many of these. I’m lucky to read the damn winner. Anyway, “they” can groan all they like, but I thought The Little Stranger was brilliant. Not an over-the-top brilliant, but a sneak-up-and-nail-you-in-the-ass brilliant. I can’t wait to read more from that author!

  5. I haven’t read any yet, and I will probably not tackle the long-list. Taking the easy way out, I’ll wait for the short-list. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find them in second-hand book stores by that time as well…

    Irrespective of the shortlist though, I reckon I’ll read Summertime, The Wilderness and The Little Stranger this year. Summertime because I absolutely adore Coetzee, and the other two because everyone who’s read them has loved them.

    Think the only book I’d be wary of reading is, The Children’s Book. I picked it up t’other day, and flipped through a few pages, and I wasn’t too impressed. So, well, if anything, I hope that doesn’t win. :

    • Oh no don’t say that about The Childrens Book as I am just starting it! I am just throwing myself into them and trying not to go in with any preconceived ideas. Though I must admit The Children’s Book and Wolf Hall do seem the most daunting reads.

  6. I haven’t finished the Booker 2008 shortlist. *ugh* But I’m once again marking down these titles.

    • I don’t think I read any of last years long list or shortlist, well if I did it wasnt intentional so technically this is my first year actually trying. Am hoping it all goes well. Eek!

  7. I am a new blogger, so I wouldn’t know trend if it hit me in the face. But I just know that when I was in Poland for almost three weeks, the Bumbles helped me out with my links. Just in attempt to not lose all my followers and keep things moving while I was gone (my daily hits still went down 20% or more, which was saddening!) So while they were gone this week, I repaid the favor, and also donated a book review. Its kinda fun!

  8. I’m more or less happy with the list. There are a few which I don’t think should be on the list, but it is nice to see a few I’ve never heard of. I’ve read 5 already, but plan to start with Me Cheeta, as it sounds the strangest!

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