The Man Booker Long List 2010

The Booker long list was announced yesterday. I was surprised by the number of relatively unknown books on the list and initially frustrated that I had read so few. I’m planning to read the entire Booker long list and so will have to put in a lot of effort if I am to complete them all before the short list is announced on 7th September.

The three I’ve already read:


…a light, entertaining read..

The Long Song – Andrea Levy stars41

The graphic sex, abusive language and controversial subject means that this book isn’t for everyone, but it will generate debate and isn’t that a great thing for a book to do?

The Slap – Christos Tsiolkas stars41





….the complexity will put off all but the most determined reader.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet – David Mitchell stars41

The ten books you’ll hopefully see on this blog soon:



It will terrify you and disturb you… Book Lust

…not nearly as life-changing as rave blurb quotations suggested. @urchinette

There have been some comparisons to The Lovely Bones but I would say this is better… Writer’s Little Helper

Room – Emma Donoghue



Some of you will probably ‘get’ it… books i done read

It’s no Oscar and Lucinda, of course, but it’s still pretty good.  Vulpes Libris

Parrot and Olivier in America – Peter Carey



No blogger reviews, but Scarlett Thomas said:

This is such a page-turner, and is in places so gruesome, that reading it becomes more visceral than intellectual…

The Betrayal – Helen Dunmore



No blogger reviews, but Jan Morris said:

…through the sadnesses and the pathos, the disappointments and the disillusionments, kindness shines.

In a Strange Room – Damon Galgut



No blogger reviews, but Twitter was full of love for Howard Jacobson! underrated writer who has thrilled me over and over again. @JonnyBest

The Finkler Question – Howard Jacobson



Tom McCarthy seems to be dividing opinion:

…the deliberately flattened, almost mechanical characters and the endless technical prose make for joyless reading… Theo Tait

…one of my top 5 novel’s of the year so far… @rbertsindelar

C – Tom McCarthy



The book is very striking without being a sob-fest. Monniblog

Please, do me a favour and read this book. Sasquatch Radio

February – Lisa Moore



….there is so much energy that it explodes out in unexpected directions. Asylum

It’s a rich, immersive read that you shouldn’t miss. Follow the Thread

Skippy Dies – Paul Murray



The style and the themes hit, but for me, the emotional side of the story didn’t. Fleur Fisher Reads

Unfortunately I felt that in comparison to The Road Home, the book was quite slow. Cardigangirlverity

Trespass – Rose Tremain



You don’t have to have read The Sopranos to make sense of The Stars in the Bright Sky, or to be instantly hooked by it. Thomas Jones

Am delighted Alan Warner made it onto the Booker longlist. Scottish, funny, experimental, searching – what’s not to like? @writercampbell

The Stars in the Bright Sky – Alan Warner

When the long list was announced I initially felt a bit disappointed that I hadn’t heard of more of the books, but having just spent the morning researching this blog post I have regained my Booker enthusiasm. Almost every book now appeals to me and I am very excited to begin my Booker challenge. I’m particularly excited about reading Room, C and Skippy Dies.

Wish me luck!

Are you planning to read the complete long list?

Which books are most appealing to you?

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  1. Tricia says:

    Hi Jackie,

    I have the same ambitions as you to read the longlist. I have only read the Slap, and might reread it if I have time (I have vacation in August so plan to do a lot of reading!).

    I am most looking forward to The Room, The Betrayal, Skippy Dies, and February.

    Are you able to get your hands on C and The Stars in the Bright Sky? I think I might have a hard time here in Canada – maybe I’ll place an international order…

    Good luck! I look forward to your posts!

    1. Jackie says:

      Tricia, Good luck with your Bookerthon!

      All the books are available here in the UK, although some are a bit expensive. The good news is that the Book Depository ships internationally for free, so it should be quite easy for you to get hold of the missing ones.

      I look forward to reading all your posts too :-)

    2. Shannon says:

      C will be available here in Canada in the beginning of September. Chapters has it available for pre-order on their website now.

      1. Tricia says:

        Thanks! I saw that C would be available September 7 – hoping to read it before then (since that is the day that the shortlist will be announced). I will check out Book Depository.

        1. Tricia says:

          yay! I just ordered from the Book Depository -thanks for the tip…I’m sure I’ve heard of it but never thought to check it out.

  2. Dan Holloway says:

    I guess my last comment made it obvious which one I was particularly waiting for – I am SOOO excited that C is coming out soon, and very keen to see what you make of it – have you read either of McCarthy’s first two?

    1. Jackie says:

      Dan, No. I haven’t read any McCarthy. I’m afraid that I hadn’t even heard of him until yesterday. I’m hoping that it is good enough to justify the hype.

  3. Steph says:

    I didn’t recognize some of the titles on the list, but by and large I’d say it looks quite strong and nothing about it strikes me as being off. As you said, even the titles I hadn’t heard of before sound really interesting and it looks like there’s a good mix, so I think this would be an enjoyable batch to read through.

    Not sure who I’m rooting for, but I think C will make the short list. And possibly Skippy dies too, along with The Long Song and the David Mitchell! I will be interested to see how the committee responds to The Slap!

    1. Jackie says:

      Steph, I would be surprised if The Long Song made the short list, but I don’t seem to be very good at predicting these things! I would be shocked if Mitchell didn’t make it though.

      I haven’t spotting any books that are really out of place on the list, so it looks as though the judges have done a good job this year. I’m very excited to start reading them all.

  4. David H says:

    Good luck, Jackie! I don’t know whether I could manage the entire longlist before September, but I look forward to seeing what you think.

    I’ve got the McCarthy and Mitchell lined up to read soon, and I’m also interested in the Donoghue; beyond that, we’ll see.

    What do you think you’ll go for first?

    1. Jackie says:

      David, I hope that you manage to make your way through a few before September as it would be nice to compare notes.

      I’m starting with Room as it is the only one I own. I really can’t decide what to read after that though – I’ll have to see what catches my eye :-)

  5. I must say, Room sounds awfully interesting — I might have to jump on that one!

    1. Jackie says:

      Natalie, I knew I had to read it the moment I heard about it. Even if it hadn’t made the long list I would have been devouring it. I’m really pleased that it made the cut :-)

  6. Laura says:

    I haven’t read a single one, although I’ve had good intentions of reading The Long Song since it was longlisted for the Orange Prize. I’m planning to order it, and a few more, from The Book Depository, since they are not available here in paperback yet.

    I have no intention of reading these before the prize is announced but will follow your progress with considerable interest.

    1. Jackie says:

      Laura, Yeah for the Book Depository!! :-) I’m sure you’ll enjoy The Long Song – it isn’t as good as Small Island, but it’s an entertaining read. Happy reading!!

  7. Jessica says:

    The ones that appeal right away are The long Song, Parrot and Olivier in America, the Slap and Room but Im in no rush as the moment to read them – I might do the short list.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jessica, It is great to hear that you might do the short list. Hopefully I’ll be able to persuade you to do a few more ;-)

  8. Shannon says:

    I would love to read all of the long list before the prize is announced but I’m not sure if that is going to happen. I have already read The Long Song but that it is it. I’m definitely going to read February (gotta support the Canadian fiction!)

    I’d also like to read Room, The Betrayal, In a Strange Room and Skippy Dies. I’ll see how much I can get read before the prize is awarded and hopefully most of what I chose ends up on the short list!

    1. Jackie says:

      Shannon, I’ve only just realised that Lisa Moore is Canadian and I already own her previously Giller listed book, Alligator, (unread!) I wish I’d read Alligator already, but I am looking forward to reading February – I like emotional books :-)

  9. Very ambitious for you to read the longlist! I always want to do that with prizes and book awards but have only read the Canada Reads 2010 list in full.

    P.S. Thanks for the linkage!

    1. Jackie says:

      Monica, I’m afraid that I’m strangely drawn to lists and like completing them. I don’t always manage it, but I have good fun trying! Canada Reads is a great initiative. If I lived in Canada I’d read them all too :-)

  10. You’ve got a head start on me, as I haven’t finished any of them yet, but I’m so glad to see you gave four stars to the three you’ve read. I, too, am planning to read all 13 by September 7. I’m thrilled it’s such a good list for U.S. readers this year too. I only had to order four from the U.K. Overall, the list really appeals to me. I’m genuinely looking forward to reading all thirteen. I look forward to comparing notes!

    1. Jackie says:

      Carrie, It is great to know that more books are available in the US this year. I look forward to comparing notes with you – I’m not going to be able to do much reading in the next week, so I’m sure you’ll catch up with me. Good luck!

  11. Meghan says:

    I won’t be reading the longlist this time – too much else to read! I’m excited about the outcome though. I was initially dismayed that I’d heard about so few of the books, but looking at them now I’m excited to discover some different selections.

    1. Jackie says:

      Meghan, I think I was just a bit frustrated that I’d put so much effort into researching the Booker this year and still didn’t manage to work out which ones would be selected. Once I’d got over my disappointment and looked at the books on the list I regained my excitement. Perhaps next year I’ll have more fun just waiting for the list without trying to research/predict the outcome.

  12. Kathleen says:

    The one that intrigues me the most right now is Room by Emma Donoghue. I just tried to order it for my Kindle and it wasn’t available so I’ll have to buy a “proper” book!

    1. Jackie says:

      Kathleen, Sorry to hear that Room wasn’t available on the kindle. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I expect to.

  13. Shannon says:

    Ha ha, I just posted the list myself – took me ages to put it together!

    The only one I already have is The Slap; I haven’t read any of the books here – yet. They’re all a bit too new and expensive for me, though February has been out here for ages so I might get that one sooner rather than later. I love the sound of Room.

    1. Jackie says:

      Shannon, I know how you feel – my list took me ages too :-) It was amazing how hard it was to find any quotes – hardly anyone has reviewed them at the moment. I’m sure that will all change soon!

  14. As always I will follow your progress with interest, Jackie! I don’t have any plans yet to read them all (so far I have read zero) but do intend to pick a few of them up.

    I am delighted that Alan Warner is on the list; The Sopranos is one of my favourite books and I’d like to reread it (maybe), then read The Stars in the Bright Sky.

    1. Jackie says:

      Claire, I hadn’t heard of Alan Warner before. I think I’ll have to get hold of The Sopranos before starting on Stars. It is great to know that it was one of your favourites.

  15. I’m probably not going to read the entire longlist, simply because I’m on a self-imposed book buying ban! I’ve read the Mitchell and have Trespass borrowed out from the library. I also want to read both, The Slap and The Long Song.

    Skippy Dies appeals as well, but let’s see…

    Best of luck with the longlist. Looking forward to the reviews.

    1. Jackie says:

      anothercookiecrumbles, There is no way I could stick to a book buying ban, so I admire your ability to resist temptation :-) I’m sure most will turn up in your local library eventually ;-)

  16. Patty says:

    There are some on the longlist that I would love to read…especially Trespass…but we shall see!!! I love that this is your personal quest, though.

    1. Jackie says:

      Patty, Trespass seems to be receiving quite negative reviews. I enjoyed The Road Home, so had hoped to love it. Let’s hope we disagree with those that have already read it.

  17. Andi says:

    I haven’t read any of them (surprise!) but I will be making a concerted effort to read some, if not all, and definitely ROOM. Can’t wait for that one. Bummed that it’s not available in e-book format for ease of downloading. Blah!

    Looking forward to your continued reviews!

    1. Jackie says:

      Andi, It is strange that Room isn’t available in e-book format. I hope that changes soon for you and the other frustrated people I’ve seen on twitter. Perhaps it is because it hasn’t been released yet and it will become available next week?

  18. Amy says:

    A lot of books to read, good luck with the list! I might try to read a few, we shall see.

    1. Jackie says:

      Amy, I hope you manage to read a few and enjoy them all :-)

  19. Stujallen says:

    I ve just read slap have the ,ithcell and am awaiting a copy of c to read ,a steady list I felt ,I got 6 right on my list the main one I think missed cut was chef jaspereet singh needs a wider audence

    1. Jackie says:

      Stu, Congratulations on picking 6 correctly!

      OK. I’ll see if I can find a copy of Chef :-) I hope you enjoy your Booker reads.

  20. Jenny says:

    I probably won’t be reading the whole longlist, but I will be keeping my eyes peeled for your and other bloggers’ reviews of these books. There are a bunch of them I haven’t even heard of! I know I want to read the Andrea Levy; I’m reserving judgment on the others until I have seen a few more opinions of them.

    1. Jackie says:

      Jenny, Don’t worry – I hadn’t heard of many of them either! Hopefully us long listers will be able to let you know which ones are worth getting hold of :-)

  21. LizF says:

    I’ve read The Long Song, The Slap, Trespass and February and the first few chapters of Jacob de Zoet and have absolutely no idea what will make the cut!
    I enjoyed The Slap, although the cast of characters struck me as having no redeeming features whatsoever and enjoyed The Long Song too although I agree with you that it’s not as good as Small Island.
    I was a bit disappointed with Trespass – again it was hard to find a likeable character and it struck me as being rather a distant book, certainly not one to lose yourself in!
    I didn’t get very far with Jacob de Zoet due to a waiting list at the library so I can’t really judge that as yet and the same applies to the Peter Carey except that I hadn’t even started it when it had to go back!
    Of the others, the only ones I want to read are Room and The Betrayal, but I think I will need to read The Siege first as I think it is a follow-up.

    1. Jackie says:

      LizF, Wow! You’ve read an impressive number already :-) A lot of people seem to share your Trespass disappointment so it will be interesting to see if I share your opinion.

      I haven’t read The Siege. I didn’t realise the two were related – I’ll have to look into that and see if I really need to read it first. With The Siege and The Sopranoes I’ll have 12 books to read – help! I’ll never fit them in :-(

  22. Bina says:

    Good luck with reading all of these!

    I´ve been very curious about Skippy Dies, hope you can recommend it! :)

    1. Jackie says:

      Bina, I have heard mixed things about Skippy Dies, but I think I might be one of those that love it. I’ve got my fingers crossed :-)

  23. Skippy Dies just came in the mail last week….I’m really looking forward to reading it. The Slap has been on my wishlist for quite a while. Actually, after reading the long list, I think I might have to read them all this year.

  24. Something about C really grabs me, and hearing that he has an unusual style makes me even more curious to see if I’d like it or not. I’m still planning on getting to Thousand Autumns at some point, and also want to read The Slap and Skippy Dies. Other than those, I think I’ll wait for the shortlist.


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