Discussion Forums - Historical Fiction

Topic: Booker Prize Longlist

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Booker Prize Longlist
Date Posted: 8/16/2010 10:51 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
Back To Top

The Booker Longlist was announced at the end of July and I was wondering if anyone plans to read any of the books. I used to make an attempt to read all of the short list, as well as the actual winner, but for the past two years, I haven't even managed to read the winner. I looked over my reading lists and realized that I haven't read much literary fiction at all this year and I plan to rectify that. I read what I enjoy for the most part, but I do like to try the winners of various book awards.

 

The longlist includes:

Peter Carey Parrot and Olivier in America (Faber and Faber)

Emma Donoghue Room (Pan MacMillan - Picador)

Helen Dunmore The Betrayal (Penguin - Fig Tree)

Damon Galgut In a Strange Room (Grove Atlantic - Atlantic Books)

Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury)

Andrea Levy The Long Song
(Headline Publishing Group - Headline Review)

Tom McCarthy C (Random House - Jonathan Cape)

David Mitchell The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet  (Hodder & Stoughton - Sceptre)

Lisa Moore February (Random House - Chatto & Windus)

Paul Murray Skippy Dies (Penguin - Hamish Hamilton)

Rose Tremain Trespass (Random House - Chatto & Windus)

Christos Tsiolkas The Slap (Grove Atlantic - Tuskar Rock)

Alan Warner The Stars in the Bright Sky
(Random House - Jonathan Cape)

 

 

There is even some historical fiction on the list, as usual, but in this case, it's called literary fiction instead of H/F. Interesting, huh?

The H/F - - -

Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey

The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore

The Long Song by Andrea Levy

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell

C by Tom McCarthy

 

I already had The Long Song and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet on my wishlist, but I'll definitely be adding The Betrayal and Parrot and Olivier to my wishlist soon. I've always enjoyed Dunmore's books and this one set in Leningrad sounds awfully good. The Tom McCarthy one, "C", sounds interesting, but I think I'll wait to read some reviews before deciding if I should try it.

I thought the Rose Tremain on the list, Trespass, was H/F, but I don't think it is, not toally sure though. I'll be reading it regardless, love her books. It's already wishlisted!

I've already read "Room" by Emma Donoghue and ended up really enjoying it. The story is told by a 5 year old boy which I thought  would get on my nerves at first, but he grew on me and I ended up enjoying it quite a lot. Room is the only book on the list I have read.

Anyone planning to read any of these books?

Date Posted: 8/16/2010 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
Back To Top

Thanks for sharing the list. I too already had the de Zoet's book on my WL -- now I'll have to check out the others. I actually had a very nice copy of The Slap that my neighbor gave me, but after reading the customer reviews on Amazon, decided to post it and make one of the 60 wishers happy. (See, I can give away my books -- well, at least books that don't appeal to me.)

Date Posted: 8/16/2010 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
Back To Top

Oh, joy! I just found out that Dunmore's book is actually a sequel to her book, "The Siege", a wonderful read! The Siege socks you in the gut and really makes you feel besieged. This is fabulous news! I've always wished I could find out what happened to the Siege characters after the war. Fabulous!!

Date Posted: 8/16/2010 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
Back To Top

Deb, there is a good deal of interesting discussion and debate over the longlist at the Booker site. There is a thread for each book on the longlist, some are on page 2.

Right here - http://www.themanbookerprize.com/forum/forum.php?id=2&page

Date Posted: 8/16/2010 3:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
Back To Top

I am not looking. My eyes are closed and I'm singing la, la, la, la, la ....

Valli, don't make me hurt you. Stop. Recommending. Books!

devil

Date Posted: 8/17/2010 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
Back To Top

LOL, Genie! I can't seem to stop myself from book talk. I actually spend about 90% of my computer time trolling the internet for new-to-me books. Yesterday, I spent way, WAY too much time this way. Before yesterday, I didn't know there were message boards on the Booker site, so I spent hours reading everything there. Then, I started checking out the blogs belonging to all of the posters there and that ate up even more time, although I did find some very interesting book blogs. Unfortunately, I now have about 75 more titles that I am dying to add to my wishlist. Ugh.

 

Deb, "Slap" is one on the list that I'd already decided not to bother with reading. It just doesn't sound like my thing at all. It's really popular across the web though and I think it will probably make the shortlist. It sounds like a bit of nasty soap opera to me though. Actually, I might end up reading it simply because I'm so nosy. ;-)

 

I think "Room" will make the shortlist too, but I'm not sure that it should. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't consider it as Booker material. I don't even think it's Donoghue's best work. I think that if it does make it to the shortlist, it will be because of the unusual narrator; Booker judges seem to like that sort of thing. I read in an article that "Room" wasn't submitted to the Booker; the judges requested it. I can't imagine though that it would hold up to three readings; I have no interest in reading it twice and I don't see it as the type of book you'd get something new from with re-reading. I don't guess I can expect the Booker judges to be asking for my opinion though; what a pity. :-D

I'm also curious about Lisa Moore's entry, "February". I wonder if it would have made the long list if the Gulf oil spill hadn't happened? After looking at her previous novels and reading some newspaper and magazine reviews, I doubt it. I understand that they want books to be relevant to the world today, but I wonder if this one will hold up years and years down the road... Of course, I haven't read any of her books, so I am busily forming half-baked opinions, lol.

Actually, "Room" is pretty relevant to happenings today too. Wasn't it this year or last that the girl from California was found? I feel terrible for not remembering her name, but she was the one abducted while pretty young, then held captive for years in the abductors back yard. She had two kids by him, I think. "Room" deals with just that topic. What was her name?

I don't know why I find all this Booker stuff so interesting, but I really do!

Date Posted: 8/17/2010 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
Back To Top

The Dunmore one is the one I'm most interested in reading. I'm off to add "The Siege" to my Wish List. 

Date Posted: 8/17/2010 1:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
Back To Top

Sorry, double post. 



Last Edited on: 8/17/10 2:16 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/17/2010 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
Back To Top

Ok, I ordered it, grin!

Date Posted: 8/17/2010 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
Back To Top

Deb, "Slap"

Almost as funny as "Christ on a Kindle."

devil

OK, I'll stop. Before you accuse me (rightly) of stealing your post.

Date Posted: 8/17/2010 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
Back To Top

Why can't I have 210 spots on my wishlist? Or, 213? Is that too much to ask out of life? Is it? Really? Bah.

I want to add some of these books, but I can't choose any to delete. Life is so very, very hard. *sniff*

Date Posted: 8/17/2010 10:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
Back To Top

Yeah, Valli -- life is hard. But I'm happy to make it a little easier for you (because that's the kind of person I am). I have lots of room on my WL. Tell me which ones you want; I'll put them on my WL and have them sent to your address. Problem solved!  (Though depending on the book, it may have to take a detour to my house first.)

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 7:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
Back To Top

Oh no you didn't.  You didn't start this thread. 

Date Posted: 8/18/2010 10:12 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
Back To Top

Oh, Deb, that is a tempting offer, very, very tempting, but all of these books have long wishlist lines now and I'm afraid they would probably be stuck on your wishlist for ages.

Of course, I did make a book list of the Booker long list and if you happened to be wanting to add some of these books to your wishlist, well, who am I to say you shouldn't?! ;-)

http://www.paperbackswap.com/lists/create_2.php?action=refresh&msg=list_upd_denied&edit_mode=true

ETA: Actually, some of these have very short lines. There is only one person in line for the Carey paperback!



Last Edited on: 8/18/10 11:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2010 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
Back To Top

The shortlist has been announced! And, I think it's a fabulous list. I'm just a bit disappointed that Dunmore's "The Betrayal" and David Mitchell's "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet" didn't make it to the short list, but only because I'd decided to read the short list first and I was really looking forward to these two. Oh, well, the other books sound great too! I am a bit glad that Tsiolkas's "The Slap" didn't make the short list and I haven't even read the book. He seems so full of himself and arrogant in some of the interviews he's done. In one interview, he said something like Britain isn't making any realistic books any longer; he's the only one doing it. I guess if no one else is tooting your horn, you should just go ahead and blast it yourself, lol. It sounds like his characters in "The Slap" are all horrible, nasty people and he sounds as if he'd fit right in. Of course, I don't really know this man and I may be totally wrong about him. ;-) 

Peter Carey Parrot and Olivier in America (Faber and Faber)

Emma Donoghue Room (Picador - Pan Macmillan)

Damon Galgut In a Strange Room (Atlantic Books - Grove Atlantic)

Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury)

Andrea Levy The Long Song (Headline Review -
Headline Publishing Group)

Tom McCarthy C (Jonathan Cape - Random House)

 

 

I think I am most looking forward to reading "C". I've read the desrciption of the plot, but I'm still not totally sure I understand exactly what this book is about. It sounds very original and unique though and I am dying to get my hands on a copy!

So, does anyone have any thoughts on the shortlist? Are you angry that a favorite didn't make it? Is there another book published that you think should have been conidered for the Booker, but wasn't submitted? Is anyone else planning to read them all? Or, am I the lonely Booker obsessed H/F'er??? Say it ain't so! :-)



Last Edited on: 9/11/10 11:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2010 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
Back To Top

I heard a really interesting piece on "The Room" yesterday - what was interesting was it talked about the publishing process and creating buzz.