Wednesday, 8 August 2007

What? No Harry Potter?

The long list for this year’s Man Booker Prize was announced last night and, depending on your morning paper, it was either ‘remarkably surprising’ (The Guardian) or contained ‘not too many surprises’ (the Times). Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach has immediately been installed as the bookie’s favourite to win the £50,000 prize, and as I’ve only read one other candidate (Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones) I can’t really argue with that.

The list in full:

Nicola Barker - Darkmans

Edward Docx - Self Help

Tan Twan Eng - The Gift Of Rain

Anne Enright - The Gathering

Mohsin Hamid - The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Peter Ho Davies - The Welsh Girl

Lloyd Jones - Mister Pip

Nikita Lalwani - Gifted

Ian McEwan - On Chesil Beach

Catherine O'Flynn - What Was Lost

Michael Redhill - Consolation

Indra Sinha - Animal's People

A N Wilson - Winnie & Wolf


Mary Witzl said...

I can't keep up with these! I've only just finished the last Harry Potter as it is, and I've got a stack of books next to my bed that reaches my knees. But talk about an embarrassment of riches.

How did you like Mr Pip?

Paul said...

Mary - at least there are only 13 books on the list (a 'Booker's dozen' according to the official website!) rather than the 18 of last year. I'm not sure how many of them I'll get to read before the shortlist is announced next month . . .

I enjoyed Mr Pip very much indeed. A worthy winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize but I don't think it's quite as good as On Chesil Beach. But then McEwan is my favourite author, so I may be a little biased!

Did you enjoy HP?

Kanani said...

I remember Michiko Kukatani from the NY Times absolutely panning Chesil's book. I'm glad a lot of other people have disagreed!

I'll have to see if my bedraggled library has any of these!

Paul said...

Kanani - Yes, I remember there being a bit of a fuss over her review. To behonest, it made me a little chary of rushing out to buy the book. Also, I had read an extract of the novel some time before it was published and it did seem terribly slow-moving. But when I read the whole novel (and it is a short novel) I thought the pace was perfect. The writing is just wonderful, in my humble opinion. But that (as with Michiko Kukatani's review) is just one opinion. I hope your library has a copy!

Kanani said...

I saw Chesil Beach over at Border's the other day. I'm going over to see if the library has it --if not, I'll ask them to buy it.

I've also wanted to read Mister Pip.

Frankly, I think they are tired of my lists... I walk in with about twenty requests. I wonder if it would be better to parse it out a bit --they must think I"m a bossy reader!

Right now I'm finising "Falling Man" by Don DeLillo. It's really different.