Paul Beatty with The Sellout…
I was lucky enough to host an event with four of the Man Booker shortlisted authors, including Paul, combining my day job and my love of books perfectly, in Liverpool’s St George’s Hall as you can see below, where Paul is reading to a rapt audience. (You will be able to see a video of the event on my Booktube channel soon, as well as a podcast on a special return of You Wrote The Book!)
Having read the entire shortlist I don’t envy the judges having to make the decision because (despite me possibly being a bit underwhelmed at first – before I read them, so who on earth did I think I was) I thought the shortlist had a huge amount to offer and were actually all very different. The psychological profiling and claustrophobic clinging atmosphere in Eileen, the huge conversations about family and Europe in Hot Milk, the use of satire smoking some serious rage in The Sellout which will have you checking your own prejudices, the sense of adventure, storytelling and gripping nature of His Bloody Project, the short stories meets novel in All That Man Is which looks at what it is to be a man throughout an entire life and the epic nature of Do Not Say We Have Nothing which looks at dark histories and culture clashes in the present. So yeah, quite a choice.
So huge congrats to Paul, and to all the shortlisted authors. Have you all read The Sellout and if so what did you make of it? My review will be live, very, very soon – and that video and podcast too.
So the Man Booker Prize 2016 longlist has been announced and once again I have been completely thwarted in my attempts to guess it. I managed to guess a whopping three books on the long list, one of which, Eileen, I had actually read (yet haven’t reviewed but will be soon). I have also read another, My Name is Lucy Barton which I didn’t predict would make the longlist – not because I didn’t like it (I have reviewed it here) there were just lots of other books calling to me when I made my very last minute guessing attempt on camera, ha. So before I waffle on more, here is the list…
- The Sellout – Paul Beatty (Oneworld)
- The Schooldays of Jesus – J.M. Coetzee (Harvill Secker)
- Serious Sweet – A.L. Kennedy (Jonathan Cape)
- Hot Milk – Deborah Levy (Hamish Hamilton)
- His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet (Contraband)
- The North Water – Ian McGuire (Scribner UK)
- Hystopia – David Means (Faber & Faber)
- The Many – Wyl Menmuir (Salt)
- Eileen – Ottessa Moshfegh (Jonathan Cape)
- Work Like Any Other – Virginia Reeves (Scribner UK)
- My Name Is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout (Viking)
- All That Man Is – David Szalay (Jonathan Cape)
- Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien (Granta Books)
In case you are wondering why these are all in different formats; the books in bold I have read, the books in italics I have on my shelves. The Many is a book I was actually contemplating reading last week for Booktubeathon because it is slight and sounds spooky, it may well be the one I turn to next. Hot Milk I have been meaning to read for ages, as I have The Sellout which I was kindly sent by a lovely friend in America ages ago. Do Not Say We Have Nothing only recently arrived and The North Water has remained on my shelves despite being set on boats since reading Shirley Barrett’s whaling novel, Rush Oh!, earlier in the year (again I haven’t reviewed it yet) and loved it.
The others I know very little about but two are calling to me instantly, His Bloody Project because it is a thriller and Work Like Any Other which sounds intriguing with its tale of electricity stealing and manslaughter. Szalay and Means I need to look into more, Coetzee I have read and enjoyed, Kennedy I still haven’t tried and feel I should.
Am I going to read the longlist? Yes and no. I think I am going to see what takes my fancy between now and the shortlist announcement in September (though I have a feeling The Many may get whisked off the shelves this weekend) and see what happens and what the shortlist looks like later in the year. It’s an interesting list of books though that is for sure. What are your thoughts? Which of the books have you read and what did you make of them?
So I said I would hold off sharing video’s for a while, however I thought the easiest way for me to do my Man Booker Prize longlist predictions this year was in that form, so I have. Here it is…
We only have a few hours to go until it is announced, when you will see that none of my guesses were correct and that is exactly why the team haven’t phoned begging me to judge it yet, hahaha. I will share more info, on both the list and my thoughts on it, here on the blog not long after it’s announced and we can all have a good old natter about it. Hoorah. In the meantime what do you think will make the list?