Man Booker Prize 2012 winner announced tonight - what's your bet?

(39 Posts)

It's the biggie. The prize that sends a literary novel straight into the bestseller list and the author on a global publicity tour and to a guaranteed seat in literature's Hall of Fame.

Just to remind you, the shortlist is:

The Lighthouse - Alison Moore
Swimming Home - Deborah Levy
Bring Up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel
Umbrella - Will Self
The Garden of Evening Mists - Tan Twan Eng
Narcopolis - Jeet Thayil

This year's six includes two debut novels, two authors who've been shortlisted before, one previous winner, three novels published by small indie publishers. Three women, three men.

(Ladbrokes current odds-on winner: Will Self at 2/1)

Which ones have you read and who will you be rooting for?

Think it'll be Will Self - but i'm rooting for Deborah Levy ... Would love Mantel to get it again, but Bring Up the Bodies is really just a continuation of Wolf Hall, and I can't imagine them giving it to her again!

LibrarianAli Tue 16-Oct-12 14:13:28

My reading group are shadowing the Man Booker Prize so I've read almost the entire shortlist.

I would love Bring Up the Bodies to win as it is beautifully written - Mantel is an incredible storyteller and brings this fascinating man to life for us, however I think it is unlikely for a sequel to win (despite Bodies standing on its own as a novel entirely)

So, I think Garden of Evening Mists will win - it is lovely, poignant and thoughtful and very carefully paced, the language is precise, almost spare and the sense of place is very powerful... what happens after war

I also thoroughly enjoyed 'The Lighthouse' and would be very happy if that won.

I don't think Swimming Home stands up to much, but my DH loved it and thought it was immersive and mesmerising (one man's immersive is this woman's claustrophobic!)

I didn't enjoy reading Umbrella or Narcopolis at all. I found them turgid and sordid equally.

JodieHarsh Tue 16-Oct-12 14:31:45

My money's on The Lighthouse, by Alison Moore.

It's almost unprecedented that a debut novel from a minute independent publishing house run from a Norfolk seaside town could have got this far. The buzz around this book is VERY loud!

I secretly love Mantel though also she is practically my friend so I wouldn't be disappointed if Bodies took the prize.

lambethlil Tue 16-Oct-12 15:19:56

Umbrella has little punctuation or paragraphs.
I think someone should C&P a chunk and post it pedants' corner. grin

I'd love Garden Of Evening Mists to win, because although I've not read it yet, I thought his previous book was stunning, and didn't deserve not to make the shortlist. I think Umbrella wI'll win.

Hullygully Tue 16-Oct-12 16:53:05

I don't know

but please not Will Self

If Hilary wins she will be first British writer ever to win twice.

Go Hilary, go Hilary...

hackmum Tue 16-Oct-12 17:20:04

The only one I've read is the Hilary Mantel, but I don't think it will be her, as it's too soon since the last one.

So, speaking from a position of complete ignorance (what's new), my money is on Will Self, with Deborah Levy as second choice. I think the Booker Judges want to make a statement about how stuff can be difficult and good (as a reaction against last year when they were all about readability and accessibility, yawn.)

Greatresult Tue 16-Oct-12 17:57:15

Will the results be televised?

CelstialNavigation Tue 16-Oct-12 18:34:30

I am definately rooting for "Swimming Home", which i feel like i have a small personal stake in, having purchased one of the first few copies that was published grin I like the whole idea of it.

Is the prize ceremony normally hidden away on the BBC 24-hour news channel?

I've hunted high and low for the television coverage and there doesn't seem to be any..last year I definitely watched it on a BBC channel but no sign in any of the schedules at all.

If anyone finds it, can they post up here? Meanwhile, I'll be searching Twitter for clues...

Telly coverage is: BBC news and BBC World from 9.30pm

Getting very excited. We'll be tweeting from @MumsnetBookclub if you're on Twitter.

Good luck to all of them. (Though Hilary still gets my vote.)

MrsMellowDrummer Tue 16-Oct-12 20:06:10

Please please please don't let it be Will!

I've read the longlist, and I'm really hoping it will go to Tan Twan Eng. The Garden of Evening Mists is a truly beautiful book. Masterfully crafted. If not, my other favourite was Swimming Home.

I can't believe the decision hasn't been leaked this year - usually somebody manages to find out by about 10am. Will be glued to the BBC news channel preparing to scream if they give it to Umbrella. Bet they will.

MrsMellowDrummer Tue 16-Oct-12 20:08:55

And yes, I don't think it should go to Mantel either. Wolf Hall was ground breaking, whereas I felt that Bringing Up the Bodies was a fairly standard historical novel - albeit a very good one!

watching it now....

atrociouscook Tue 16-Oct-12 21:26:54

I really hope it will be Will. I have reread the first 70 pages and now can't put it down - worth persevering with and is a welcome chaqnge frfom so many books.

We're off! BBc coverage on now..

Bring Up The Bodies!

MrsMellowDrummer Tue 16-Oct-12 21:49:56


designerbaby Tue 16-Oct-12 21:56:48

YAY! Go Hilary!!

LibrarianAli Tue 16-Oct-12 22:02:34

YAY! Hilary is a wonderful storyteller; hearing her read aloud last night brought the book even more to life. I'm so very pleased for her.


Not only for Hilary winning, but that I've actually read a Booker winner before it won the Booker.

Here's the link to Hilary's completely brilliant webchat on BRING UP THE BODIES last month

maillotjaune Tue 16-Oct-12 22:37:09

Fantastic! I'm so pleased (it is the only one on the short list I have read although I've bought 2 othersgrin) but I am seriously in love with her Cromwell and so pleased that such a good storyteller has been recognised again.

NurseRatched Wed 17-Oct-12 00:00:27

Fabulous! Well done, well deserved, Ms M thanks thanks

ticklemyboobsofsteel Wed 17-Oct-12 08:10:18

Well done Hilary smile I'm half-way through Bring Up The Bodies, and love it. Wolf Hall is probably one of my most favourite books ever. Very well deserved!

Hullygully Wed 17-Oct-12 08:30:35

Go Hilary!

Just heard her on R4 too

hackmum Wed 17-Oct-12 09:15:17

We shall now pretend that I never wrote a post saying that of course they wouldn't give the prize to Hilary a second time.

Puppypanic Wed 17-Oct-12 09:21:16

Fantastic, I am so so pleased for her. Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies are both such brilliant books - can't wait for number 3!

I couldn't stop grinning last night and listening to her this morning on R4 - brilliant win and so well deserved.

anisceline Wed 17-Oct-12 10:58:02

The thing that made me happy to be honest was seeing a relatively small Indie publisher like Salt have a title on the shortlist with The Lighthouse. I've often wondered if it's really just the calibre of fiction alone that manages to get onto that shortlist. That is what it should be about. I still feel there is a real sense of just a handful of writers who get considered. I know good fiction is a subjective thing but I'd love to see a bit more daring built into that reading list and you tend to get more unusual but original reads championed by the smaller presses. I would love to see more break out authors on the shortlist, I think the publishing industry and readers would benefit from that.

juneau Wed 17-Oct-12 11:03:09

I'm so disappointed HM won again. I couldn't get into Wolf Hall at all and haven't attempted BUTB as a result. I usually find it interesting to read the Booker winner, but this year I'm not going to bother.

2madboys Wed 17-Oct-12 12:31:59

Will openly admit that I haven't read it yet, but so disappointed that The Lighthouse didn't win. I won't be able to say that I went to school with the winner of the Booker Prize! grin. Thrilled to bits that she made the shortlist though!

sieglinde Wed 17-Oct-12 13:15:51

I reviewed BUTB, and thought it was all right. Just that, all right. Overwritten, and with many a lollipop for the little people's prejudices about history.

choccyp1g Wed 17-Oct-12 17:04:49

What do you mean about lollipops sieglinde?

I loved Wolf Hall and BUTB, but I do worry that historical fiction can totally confuse me as to what really happened.

Vagaceratops Wed 17-Oct-12 17:23:21

Well done Hilary.

sieglinde Thu 18-Oct-12 10:04:27

Cromwell is made palatable because he's a rational atheist, which he really WASN'T. He was mercenary, yes, but he was also something of a crusader. Henry is given the romantic attitudes of a 21st-century man, and his religious beliefs are crudely crazy. Anne is also thoroughly modern rather than motivated by dynastic forces.

All this lets us feel both a false identification and a warm glow of superiority without any understanding. So both are sentimental.

marfisa Fri 19-Oct-12 23:05:58

Hmmm, interesting. That sounds like this review.

sieglinde Sat 20-Oct-12 16:15:28

Yes, I read that too, and found myself in agreement with it - unusual on both counts!

designerbaby Tue 23-Oct-12 09:35:05

I know what you mean, but I'm undecided about Cromwell the crusader...

It's really hard to know whether his reformation of the church was motivated by deeply help protestant beliefs, or whether that was just a convenient excuse for appropriating huge amounts of cash and property for the crown, and removing the political threat posed by a strong church.

Crusader vs. businessman and politician... ?? Dunno.

The book at least, for me, questioned his motivations, but left the question rather unresolved... On the one hand he is risking his life by importing and reading banned protestant texts, on the other, the dissolution of the monasteries is described in far more prosaic terms...

But hey. I unashamedly loved both books...


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