Man Booker longlist 2010

The longlist of the 2010 Man Booker Prize was announced earlier today. I was curious to see what would be on there, and how it would map against what I’d read. Without further ado, the thirteen nominated novels are:

Peter Carey, Parrot and Oliver in America

Emma Donoghue, Room

Helen Dunmore, The Betrayal

Damon Galgut, In a Strange Room

Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question

Andrea Levy, The Long Song

Tom McCarthy, C

David Mitchell, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Lisa Moore, February

Paul Murray, Skippy Dies

Rose Tremain, Trespass

Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap

Alan Warner, The Stars in the Bright Sky

And the total number of those books which I’ve read is… one. But it is one of the best books I’ve read all year (indeed, it’s my favourite from all those I’ve read which were eligible) – so I’m enormously pleased to see Skippy Dies on the longlist.

Half of the remaining titles are, at first glance, of interest to me. I’ve already got C and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet lined up to read over the next couple of weeks, and Room has also been on my radar. Beyond those, In a Strange Room sounds interesting; I’m intrigued by the reaction I’ve read to The Slap; and I enjoyed Rose Tremain’s previous novel, so I may well give Trespass a whirl.

The other six books are largely unknown to me (I think The Long Song is the only one of which I’d heard). Any thoughts on those, or on the list as a whole?

(NB. Any links in the list above are to my reviews of the books.)


  1. I haven’t read any of these! But I’d really like to read Skippy Dies and C. The Thousand Autumns is also on my list.

  2. I ve read the slap and picked 6 of the books of the list ,a conservative list really this year ,suprised at lack of either amis or mcewan and jon mcgregor seem popular with even with dogs ,oh well ,all the best stu

  3. I found myself feeling excited for this to come out this afternoon, then I looked and realized I had no idea why. Not because the selection is bad, but because I read so little new fiction. The only thing on this list I have read is the David Mitchell. I’ve heard some interesting things about Skippy Dies, now for the second or third time, so that’s going on the to-do list, and I’ve heard a lot good about Tom McCarthy but need to go back to his Remainder first.

  4. David Hebblethwaite

    27th July 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks for the comments, folks!

    Lija: Yes, yes, do read Skippy Dies. (And maybe in a week or so I’ll also be saying, yes, yes, do read C.

    Stu: Yeah, it does seem quite a conservative list (though I think including Amis and McEwan would only make it more so) — no debuts, as Sarah Crown pointed out on the Guardian blog. What did you think of The Slap?

    Nicole: I was quite excited, too, even though I knew I was unlikely to have read many of the books on the longlist; I think it was a combination of the Booker being such a literary ‘event’, and with the announcement of the longlist being made rather late in the afternoon. I read Remainder several years ago and thought it very good; that’s why I’m so keen to read C.

  5. I have read zero, David!

    I am DELIGHTED to see Alan Warner on the list as he is one of my favourite writers (and a fellow Scot :p); Stars in the Bright Sky is the sequel to one of my favourite books, The Sopranos (not to be confused with the TV show of the same name).

  6. I read The Stars In The Bright Sky in a sitting, Alan Warner is one of the very best current British writers and this is one of his best books.

  7. I haven’t read any of the books and I hadn’t heard about a lot of them. I have heard many great things about The Long Song though and it has been on my radar for a while.

  8. David Hebblethwaite

    27th July 2010 at 8:23 pm

    I’d never heard of Alan Warner until I read his name on the shortlist, but now I have two recommendations to read him! Question: is it necessary to have read The Sopranos before The Stars in the Bright Sky?

  9. I’m thrilled to see Room on the longlist. It’s on my must read list for this autumn. A child narrator, written first person present tense – and an extremely restricted setting. This is a brave piece of writing and I’m betting it’s a cracker.

  10. Having not read The Stars in the Bright Sky yet I can’t answer that, David, but will be curious to find out!

  11. Hi David. If you’re interested, The Omnivore has rounded up all the press reviews for the longlisted books, bringing you a useful digest of quotes from UK and US newspapers and literary journals:


  12. David Hebblethwaite

    28th July 2010 at 9:57 am

    Claire K: I’ve been intrigued by Room ever since I heard about it, so I’ll definitely be reading it at some point.

    Anna: Thanks — that’s a very useful resource.

  13. slap i describe it as neighbours done as a 18 film with huge chunk of sex thrown in good but little over hyped maybe best charcaters are greek ex pats near christoph own charcater I d imagine

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