Taking Bets on the Booker

Well, the 2010 Man Booker Prize Long List is up. I’m not sure if you pay attention to the Man Booker Prize, but if you do (or are interested in doing so) I recommend the following blogs – all of which have traditionally done a wonderful and thorough job of covering the books that make it onto the long & short lists – DoveGreyReader, KevinfromCanada & MookseandtheGripes.

Personally, I like the Booker Prize.  First off it get’s a lot more attention than the literary prizes given out in the U.S. (with the possible exception of the Pulitzer).  Second, it’s quirky.  Every year brings a new panel of judges and so, in theory at least, the books can be radically different from year to year.   2010’s longlist doesn’t disappoint.  (Insert disclaimer here: I haven’t read any of these books, these are just my initial impressions formed from what I’ve heard). The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas is actually an older novel from Australia – published in the UK in time to qualify for this year’s prize.  The Stars in the Bright Sky by Alan Warner seems like a chicklit version of Less than Zero – I can’t really figure that one out.   Peter Carey has a shot at the triple crown with Parrot and Olivier in AmericaRoom, Emma Donoghue’s novel, takes the reader into a basement world inspired by the  Fritzl and Kampusch cases.  Skippy Dies by Paul Murray just looks nifty…

And so, without further ado here’s the list.

  • Parrot & Olivier in America by Peter Carey
  • Room by Emma Donoghue
  • The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore
  • In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut
  • The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
  • The Long Song by Andrea Levy
  • C by Tom McCarthy
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
  • February by Lisa Moore
  • Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
  • Trespass by Rose Tremain
  • The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
  • The Stars in the Bright Sky by Jonathan Cape

If you’ve read one of finalists, or think the judges committed a gross oversight by overlooking you favorite from 2010, feel free to get it off you chest in the comments section.  It’ll give us all something to talk about while we wait for the bookies to post the odds.  From what I’ve heard, David Mitchell is a favorite going in… but you can’t underestimate Peter Carey…

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6 thoughts on “Taking Bets on the Booker

    1. Room was one of the ones that stood out to me as a novel I’d want to pick up. In a way, the subject matter reminds me of The End of Alice by A.M. Homes – it has that creepy voyeuristic feel of going to a place that may not necessarily be a good place to go to. But the idea of a mother protecting her son and attempting to raise him in that kind of environment (because she has no other choice) is both compelling and heartrending. Probably something you can’t read unless you’re in the proper mood.

      Thanks for the comment and the recommendation!


  1. I’m a massive fan of the Booker prize and am hoping to read all the long list before the short list is announced on 7th September. I’ve read 4 so far and have to say that Room is a fantastic book. I’m sure it will be very popular soon 😉


  2. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Room. What I found most surprising was that despite the morbid (or would macabre be more appropriate) scenario, people are saying it’s not at all depressing. Mainly because it is being told through the eyes of a child.


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