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Man Booker Prize Longlist 2012

Why is it that I am no longer excited about the Man Booker Prize? Perhaps it is the fact that more than half of the books listed are ones that I haven’t heard of, or the book who finally won the prize seems to bore me to tears.

The 2012 Booker Prize longlist was announced yesterday and here’s the list:

  • The Yips by Nicola Barker
  • The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman
  • Philida by André Brink
  • The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
  • Skios by Michael Frayn
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  • Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
  • Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
  • The Lighthouse by Alison Moore
  • Umbrella by Will Self
  • Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
  • Communion Town by Sam Thompson

I am interested in Hilary Mantel and Tan Twan Eng but the rest is just a bit unheard of, for me at least. I attempt to read the past winners, so I suppose I’ll see which one will come up as the winner this 16 October.

What about you? Which book would you be interested to read?


About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


13 thoughts on “Man Booker Prize Longlist 2012

  1. I admit I’m drawn to books that have some kind of connection, seen a review, a cover, heard the name, something at least and possibly for that reason I’d like to read Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home, because she is a friend of a friend, she has written nine novels, but this is the first time I’ve seen her name in brightish lights.

    I do like the idea, if it true, that there could be a bunch of really great books whose lights have been hiding under bushels, but I’m not sure if that is the case, or whether this is a list of personal favourites by the judges, avoiding anything that has had sufficient publicity already, Mantel excepted. Whatever, it’s best not to take it too seriously, I prefer to search for something I might like from the longlist, the winner not always the path that I’d have taken, if the choice was mine.

    Posted by Claire 'Word by Word' | July 28, 2012, 9:04 am
    • Claire,
      You said it better than I did Claire. At least a connection. Unless I read all of the books in the longlist, I won’t know which to choose. Perhaps that’s why I am always drawn to the winner, if it is just pure curiousity or get into the heads of the judges and understand what they see in the winning book. Thanks for dropping by Claire!

      Posted by JoV | July 29, 2012, 12:18 pm
  2. I’m underwhelmed too, I won’t be ‘following’ the prize this year or indeed read many of the books. Most of them are not even available in my library system, that’s how under the radar they are! I’ve just finished Bring Up The Bodies and was a bit ambivalent about it.

    Posted by Sam (Tiny Library) | July 28, 2012, 11:15 am
    • Sam,
      That’s the disadvantage of having longlist which are not available in the library, unless one is willing to buy all of them! I have trouble reading all the Orange shortlist in time last year because my library stock the shortlist so late and I was in a queue. Anyway I’ll just wait and see.

      Posted by JoV | July 29, 2012, 12:20 pm
  3. New names in the list except for a few. I will be looking out for the shortlist. Just blogged about South African writer Andre Brink making it once again to the list.

    Posted by Geosi | July 28, 2012, 1:05 pm
  4. But when you’ve heard of them all already, it’s really boring! Even though the judges claimed they didn’t purposely pick 3 books from small presses, I was thrilled that they did – it gives them an exposure that they would never get otherwise, regardless of the quality of the books. For me that’s what literary prizes should be about – a way of getting round the problem of big publishers with big budgets pushing mediocre or trend fiction, rather than quality.

    Posted by secondshelfdown | July 29, 2012, 10:52 am
    • Secondshelfdown,
      A part of me agree with what you said, but a big part of me rather have well-liked books chosen by the readers to be up there in the longlist. The problem is judges seem to introduce books which have been out of the market for the short time. Not having big publishers pushing their books to the judges may be the way to go, but a reader poll for longlist/shortlist would be great.

      Posted by JoV | July 29, 2012, 12:24 pm
  5. I don’t know… I actually thought it was nice that the jury decided to take a different route. Of this list, I’ve only read Narcopolis, but it’s not a book that I am raving about. Have you checked out Jackie’s remark? She’s always on top of the Man Booker & Orange prize: http://www.farmlanebooks.co.uk/2012/the-2012-booker-prize-longlist/

    Posted by Chinoiseries | July 29, 2012, 1:47 pm
    • Chinoiseries,
      Yes I have read Jackie’s and she always have an in-depth and accurate analysis of the prize longlists. I agree with her wholeheartedly but if the quality of these books turn out to be mediocre, I think it is disappointing. I think longlist should be about putting out the best. At least in this case Orange Prize did a better job!

      Posted by JoV | July 29, 2012, 2:27 pm
  6. great post. I just added you to my Booker Blogroll

    Posted by vikzwrites | July 31, 2012, 10:38 am


  1. Pingback: It’s a wrap : July 2012 « JoV's Book Pyramid - August 7, 2012

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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