Book Reviews

Man Booker Prize 2017 – Longlist


It’s here! The ultimate book prize, The Man Booker Prize has just announced its longlist for the coveted 2017 prize.

Here is the longlist (with links to book reviews):

An impressive shortlist – once again the Man Booker dozen is now the Man Booker 13!

No surprise to see Zadie’s Smith’s Swing Time, Ali Smith’s Autumn and Paul Auster’s epic 4,3,2,1 however, why has Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi been overlooked again?  Both the Man Booker and the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly Bailey’s Prize) have passed this novel by – a huge disappointment.

Exit West over The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen?  Really?  Man Booker, I appreciate the fact that you are highlighting books describing the plight of refugees but, in my opinion, you’ve chosen the wrong book.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Autumn or 4,3,2,1 – I felt that the books received a significant amount of underserved hype.  For example, Autumn was hailed as the first post-Brexit novel but the references to Brexit were tenuous and weak.  If this is the reason why it has made the longlist that is disappointing.

Auster’s 4,3,2,1 was a good story…for the first 400 pages.  If you have the patience to wade your way through the rest of the 600 pages you would be forgiven for thinking the effort is not worth the reward.  Whilst cleverly written (it follows a life of a man through 4 different paths of life) it lacked real skill in story telling.  It became far too cumbersome as opposed to a pleasure to read.

Costa winner Days Without End by Sebastian Barry is a fantastic modern day Of Mice and Men – a well deserved longlisted book.

To round up…any one else surprised the new Rushdie hasn’t been longlisted? The Bookers love a good Rushdie…perhaps next year!

So, those are my initial thoughts on the longlist. I would love to read / hear yours?

Now, to read the rest!

 

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16 thoughts on “Man Booker Prize 2017 – Longlist

  1. “why has Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi been overlooked again?” Because it’s a sloppy, overhyped and underwritten mess populated by 2 underdeveloped but potentially interesting characters and way too many forgettable stick people.

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  2. Wow you were very quick to get this posted! I’m looking forward to having more post from you to read again! I would’ve liked to have seen Homegoing get some recognition, I adored it as well and found it really powerful. I’ve read 4 from the longlist already and want to read a few more but don’t know if I will aim to read the entire list, I will see how I go! Good to have you back 😊

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    1. Thanks Julia! Trust the Man Booker list to get me wanting to air my views! How’s the laptop? Dead? You liked The Underground Railroad didn’t you? I remember reading your post on it (I think it was part of diverseathon) – I should get to that one! What do you think of the list? I’m glad you agree re Homegoing – such a shame!

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      1. I did really enjoy The Underground Railroad but I do think Homegoing left a stronger lasting impression on me. Laptop dead! I’ll get a new one at some point but really want to try to just use my iPad for as long as I can- it’s a very freeing feeling not having a computer!

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      2. To be honest I only use my mac to blog! iPad all the way! I don’t know what the app is like though (as in if its user friendly – let me know?). I find it interesting how the list has picked up one on slavery and one on refugees – a strong theme in this year’s biggest books!

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      3. I’ll have a play around on the app today and see how it goes. I can’t see the typing being a problem, it’s the inserting pictures that will be a hassle I think. I was really happy to see Swing Time on there- I did love that book too!

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      4. Oh lord another one I NEED to read! I’m currently reading A Horse Walks Into A Bar then I want to read an ARC then I’ll finally get to Swing Time. I just haven’t picked it up because of the fear of not loving it and you know me, I ruddy ❤️ Zadie!

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      5. Haha there’s always going to be more and more books to read! I still haven’t read anymore of Zadie Smith but I definitely want to, she won me over with Swing Time so I’m sure you will enjoy it!

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  3. I’m scheduled to post my longlist post tomorrow.

    Like you I struggled with the back end of 4321. I haven’t read The Refuggees to compare but I loved Exit West & will reread it if it makes the shortlist.

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  4. I agree that Homegoing deserves more recognition, I’m honestly kind of surprised it wasn’t chosen. I have seen Exit West everywhere but I hadn’t heard of The Refugees, I’ll definitely need to check it out. Great post, it’s nice to see a reader’s opinion of these award lists. 🙂

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