The 2012 Booker Prize longlist has just been announced as:
- 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
Part of me is really happy to see several books that are new to me (The Lighthouse, Communion Town and Swimming Home) and another part is disappointed to see so many light, comic reads.
I have read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Skios and whilst both were entertaining, neither stood out as anything special. I didn’t get around to reviewing either as I didn’t have much to say about them. I don’t think that is a good sign for a Booker longlistee.
Narcopolis was one of the only books that I correctly predicted would be on the longlist. I started reading it last week and was immediately impressed by the writing quality. Unfortunately I went on to abandon it because the characters didn’t engage me, but I think it is worthy of its place on the longlist and I can see it being enjoyed by people who like meandering, atmospheric books.
It isn’t a surprise to see these two on the longlist. I haven’t enjoyed books written by Nicola Barker or Hilary Mantel in the past and I’ve heard these are similar in style to their previous work, so am not planning to try either of these at the moment.
André Brink is an author I have heard many positive things about. He has been shortlisted for the Booker prize twice before and this book sounds like one I’ll really enjoy.
Tan Twan Eng’s debut novel, The Gift of Rain, was longlisted for the Booker prize and this new one has received a lot of praise in the blogosphere. I’m looking forward to giving it a try.
Ned Beauman has a very bizarre writing style. I abandoned his debut novel because it was too dark and weird for me, but his second is supposed to be a lot more comic (notice that word again!) and so I’m willing to give him another try. I’ll let you know what I think soon!
I’m not surprised to see Will Self on the list. He is one of those authors that I’ve wanted to try for a while, but never done so. I’m looking forward to finally finding out what his writing style is like.
I’m looking forward to trying many of the books on the longlist and hope they are of a high enough literary standard to justify their position.
What do you think of the longlist?
Have you read any of these books?
Which ones do you think I’ll enjoy?