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Man Booker longlist 2015

(14 Posts)
southeastdweller Wed 29-Jul-15 18:34:45

List, book summaries, and author profiles here

Only read one - The Illuminations - which I felt was rather disappointing.

Really sad that A God in Ruins didn't make it. Life After Life also wasn't long listed. Is Kate Atkinson too populist an author for the judges, I wonder?

I'm starting The Green Road soon, and A Spool of Blue Thread and A Little Life also look interesting.

Thoughts on this year's longlist?

Cinnamonthecat Wed 29-Jul-15 18:40:44

hi, long time lurker here.. Lila is the one that calls out to me most. However I feel I'd like to re-read Home and Gilead again first. (Home because it was so long ago and I can barely remember it and Gilead because I thought it was one of the most beautiful books I've ever read and marked it for re-read as soon as I'd finished). If anyone has read Lila I'd love to hear their thoughts.

DuchessofMalfi Wed 29-Jul-15 19:16:05

The Anne Enright and Ann Tyler novels are the only two that appeal to me so far.

I can't help but wonder whether the Man Booker prize is a poisoned chalice for some authors anyway. Thinking of the, what must seem like bitter disappointment, of Colm Toibin who has been longlisted, shortlisted and still not won. And there must be other authors who have been nominated over several years and still not won.

antimatter Thu 30-Jul-15 06:53:37

I borrowed Lila yesterday and am hoping to read it this weekend. Haven't read anything by Marilynne Robinson so looking forward to it.

hackmum Thu 30-Jul-15 08:54:01

The only two I've read are A Spool of Blue Thread, which was wonderful, and Lila, which was fine, if you like that kind of thing. I can appreciate that Marilynne Robinson writes very beautifully but as an atheist the ideas leave me cold. (Having said that, I've read both Gilead and Home, so I do find something compelling about her.)

Disappointed but not surprised that Kate Atkinson didn't make it. I still think it was a mistake to include American writers as people like Tyler and Robinson don't really need any more promotion, do they? They already have a well-established audience. I like the Booker best when it introduces me to authors I hadn't heard of.

Cinnamonthecat Thu 30-Jul-15 10:23:01

Hackmum I believe you're correct re American authors. I had felt this somehow but couldn't articulate it. It feels wrong, not the Booker as I've known it. Also agree re authors I haven't heard of before. It can be good to break out of ones reading comfort zone as well. I read all the 2013 longlisted books and enjoyed them all. There were several that I never would have chosen had they not been on that list (The Kills and The Luminaries esp.) I am so glad I persevered!
Anti pls post back and let us know what you think..

bethshart Thu 30-Jul-15 11:43:32

I read Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping many years ago and thought it was a brilliant, very moving read. She does write beautifully. It took me a while to get into the first 2 Gilead books as I too am an atheist but once I got over that initial hurdle, I just appreciated her insight into character. Have got Lila on my pile waiting for the moment smile

NotQuiteCockney Thu 30-Jul-15 12:14:46

I also mind that they are including Americans. I read plenty of American fiction, I read the Booker longlist to find British authors I might like.

Fishwives Mon 10-Aug-15 10:08:20

Anne Enright is incredibly good, but I didn't think The Green Road was her best work. I thought she took on a lot of cliche (family saga, gathering at Christmas in west of Ireland childhood home, complex matriarch, gay son in NY in 1980s losing friends to AIDS, disaffected aid worker in Africa, crazed new mother of baby, humorous middle-aged mother of older children) and then, uncharacteristically, didn't do much with those cliches, but played them quite straight.

Leaningtoweroflisa Tue 11-Aug-15 21:26:06

I have just finished a little life by hanya yanagihara. Highly highly recommend it. Very long but couldn't put it down - really hard reading in parts due to graphic -ish sexual abuse. Should be irritating due privileged New Yorkers but wow.

Have read green road thought it was alright but agree with fish - very cliched in parts and not as good as her other books which were 'Irish' but more subtle and haunting.

Haven't read the others yet but now more inclined to read the blue thread one!

JoylessFucker Mon 24-Aug-15 12:32:42

I've read none of the longlisted books this year so there's going to be a bit of a rush to get to read before the results are announced. Serves me right for deciding to do my Booker read-along again this year.

Have started with A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. Its a chunky book at over 700 pages and I really did struggle for quite a while as its written from the point of view of such a large number of changing characters, let alone getting used to the language. I feel that's behind me now and will hopefully make better progress.

I decided to blog about it this year, so will be boring you with links to my site when I start to review and it would be great if any of you would add your thoughts there too www.bunnyandthebloke.com

JoylessFucker Mon 24-Aug-15 12:38:41

hackmum I have to agree about the US authors, but mostly because their inclusion must end up limiting the opportunities to commonwealth authors - and its them I particularly enjoy reading, having been born & brought up in India & West Africa.

southeastdweller I felt the list was entirely free of the "usual" Booker authors. It made it potentially a bit more interesting by introducing me to authors I haven't yet read. But I'll let you know whether that's been a positive at the end of the read-a-thon!

southeastdweller Wed 16-Sep-15 18:27:55

Shortlist here

crapfatbanana Fri 02-Oct-15 13:14:10

Sweetland by Michael Crummey is brilliant. I'm shocked that it didn't make the shortlist.

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