Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Man Booker Prize Longlist 2010

So, the longlist has been published and there is the usual mixture of the expected and the surprise. The full list is given below, along with a few comments about current availability and an indication of any special editions of which I am aware. Of the thirteen books, three have yet to be published, and five of the remaining ten have featured on my Book of the Week slot during the last year (maintaining my roughly 50% success rate recently!). I've read four of these so far, and The Slap is in my to be read file at present. I found The Long Song (3.5/5 - see book reviews on Facebook) a little disappointing but enjoyed the other three to a variable extent. Skippy Dies (4.5/5) is very funny in places, but might have been a stronger novel if the second half was tightened somewhat. Parrot and Olivier (4/5) is a typical Peter Carey novel, based on the life of Alexis de Toqueville, and has been installed by Ladbrokes as the favourite for the prize. However, since David Mitchell (4.5/5) was the only one of my two favourites to make the shortlist, my hopes will remain with him. As for Jon McGregor, I was very disappointed that he missed out, but expect to see him on other prize lists later in the year.

The Longlist

Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America(Faber and Faber) – hardcover in dustwrapper. Firsts easily available, but at somewhat of a premium.

Emma Donoghue, Room(Pan MacMillan - Picador) – hardcover in dustwrapper to be published shortly. A numbered edition scheduled from Goldsboro Books.

Helen Dunmore, The Betrayal(Penguin - Fig Tree) – hardcover in dustwrapper. Uncommon at present.

Damon Galgut, In a Strange Room(Grove Atlantic - Atlantic Books) – hardcover in dustwrapper. A few copies available online only.

Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question(Bloomsbury) – hardcover to be published shortly.

Andrea Levy , The Long Song(Headline Publishing Group - Headline Review) – decorated boards, and still widely available.

Tom McCarthy, C(Random House - Jonathan Cape) – hardcover to be published shortly.

David Mitchell, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet(Hodder & Stoughton - Sceptre). Decorated boards, with a 500 copy edition (numbered and signed) in slipcase. Likely to be the most expensive of the longlisted titles at present (except for the limited edition of The Slap – see below).

Lisa Moore, February(Random House - Chatto & Windus). Paperback original so far as I know, and uncommon at present.

Paul Murray, Skippy Dies (Penguin - Hamish Hamilton). Three paperback volumes in a flimsy slipcase. Subsequently reissued in one volume. A unique Booker format, and likely to become very collectible if shortlisted.

Rose Tremain, Trespass(Random House - Chatto & Windus). Still readily available as a first edition in dustwrapper.

Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap(Grove Atlantic - Tuskar Rock) – Paperback original. The very limited leather bound edition (25 copies, Tuskar Rock) long gone.

Alan Warner, The Stars in the Bright Sky(Random House - Jonathan Cape) - Paperback original (a hardback was scheduled and, indeed, an ISBN for the hardback edition appears on the colophon, but this was cancelled at a late stage).


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