So the Man Booker Prize 2018 longlist has been announced. It has seemed strange in the last few years that I haven’t done a ‘guessing the longlist’ post or video, as since I started Savidge Reads in any form I have always followed the prize and then the Man Booker International Prize. When I first started reading again in my twenties (after the six years where I didn’t pick up a book, imagine) the Booker was a signpost for me of some great reads that I should really head to. Over the last few years however the love has waned somewhat. I’ve felt a little like it had lost its way somewhat. I actually talk about it in a video I will embed below, don’t worry I won’t be sharing all my videos, I know some people prefer one medium to the other, its just so I can add/be a little bit extra, ha.
So here is the longlist…
- Snap by Belinda Bauer
- Milkman by Anna Burns
- Sabrina by Nick Drnaso
- Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
- In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne
- Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
- The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
- The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
- Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
- The Overstory by Richard Powers
- The Long Take by Robin Robertson
- Normal People by Sally Rooney
- From A Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
What do I think of the list? Well firstly I was shocked that I had read one (The Water Cure, review coming in due course) and had all of them on my shelves with the exception of Warlight, The Long Take and Sabrina, the latter of which I have already bought and rectified. Secondly, I think this is a really fresh (and much needed) list. It is by no means the perfect list, but when are they? I would have liked some more books from other commonwealth areas like Africa, India and Australia etc. Yet at the same time I love the fact that the list has so many women on it, there is some younger and lesser known talent and with a crime novel and a graphic novel a slight feel of excitement and change. I talk more about that below.
So those are my initial thoughts. Am I going to read the whole longlist? Not intentionally, no. That said I am about to start The Mars Room as a buddy read with my pal Mercedes. I am super duper keen to read Washington Black, Everything Under, Snap and Milkman for definite. Then I think I will see what takes my whimish moods, which is the best way to read anything full stop. What are your thoughts? Do you like the list? What is missing, if anything? Let’s have a natter in the comments below.
13 responses to “The Man Booker Prize 2018 Longlist”
I think it’s the most exciting longlist for many years, and I’d like to read most of the books on it. I’ve already ordered Sabrina from the library.
It feels like a longlist for readers rather than for the industry.
Yes! We are in agreement. And I love that comment that this feels like a list for readers rather than the industry.
Meh! If they wanted a crime novel, it should probably have been last year and Denise Mina’s The Long Drop which defies the boundaries of the genre.
I’ve been told The Long Drop is very good on several occasions. I’ll have to check it out. Have you read Snap?
No – but I probably will, as I saw it for a fiver in Tesco! I read Blacklands a couple of weeks ago as I heard Belinda Bauer interviewed on Front Row, and was intrigued. I enjoyed it, although my ultimate satisfaction was somewhat marred by a thrilling but rather silly ending – plausible endings are often hard to find in the genre, so she’s hArdley alone in that!.
The Long Drop has the best depiction of Glasgow in the 1950s I’ve ever read.
I find the list lacklustre and a bit boring. Not one of the synopsis’ shout out read me at all. Every year I choose 1 long list book that gets shortlisted. Last year 4321 Paul Auster. Loves it. Where is Alan Hollinghurst?
Ooh don’t watch my video Robbie. I said if Hollinghurst was on the longlist this year that would have been me and the prize done 😂
I rather like it, despite its geographical narrowness – made up for by genre-wideness perhaps. There are several I’m itching to read.
I thought it was an interesting list in terms of genre but a bit bland (as others have noted) in terms of geographic diversity. I had really expected more of “the names” such as Hollinghurst (I liked Sparsholt Affair a good bit, BTW) and Barnes. I was a little disappointed to see Rupert Thomson’s Never Anyone But You didn’t make the cut as I thought it was a tremendous novel. But — the list does offer lots to look forward to exploring. I’m reading Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under right now and so far, so good. Just finished Snap, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m always interested to see the “American selection” since U.S. authors became eligible as it always seems to me to be a bit eccentric. What is it with the Booker judges and Richard Powers? In fairness, I haven’t yet read The Overstory, but I did read his Orfeo a few years back when it, too, was nominated for the Booker. It was a novel of ideas that did hold my attention, but quite honestly I found it a slog to finish. Fairly or not, I expect Overstory to be along the same lines. Guess Powers is just too cerebral for me ……………
I have felt a definite waning of interest in the Man Booker Prize, altbough I once greatly anticipated it aa well. I feel some resentment that American authors have been included, and as an American myself I’m not sure I can fairly address that. Needless to say, some of the past books which have been included (History of Wolves? Really?!) or won (The Sellout? Really, that was the best of the lot?) have astounded me; as you can tell, I’m faintly disgruntled. However, I do laugh every time I think of Edward St. Aubyn’s parody of literature prizes in which a cookbook took first place. I smile as I type…
I meant to say I feel some resentment from others…critical poing to leave out in my comment above. 😒
I’ve read The Overstory which I really, really enjoyed. You do have to devote some time and concentration to it though – but it is definitely a rewarding book.
I’m definitely interested to see what the graphic novel is about. It’s movements like this even if it doesn’t make it past the longlist that could elevate the artform.