The Man Booker Prize longlist for 2018 was announced the other day. I still have the idea every year that I will read the Longlist (or even the shortlist) and therefore be in the best position to bore others, with who I think should have won and why, but let’s be realistic, it’s not going to happen. If I read one or two of them I will be doing well. So let’s see what I have to chose from.
Snap – Belinda Bauer. Val McDermid is quoted as saying this is, ‘[t]he best crime novel I’ve read in a very long time.’ No surprise then that it is on the longlist as McDermid is one of the judges. I’m not a huge crime reader but I am led to believe that McDermid is one of the best and therefore her opinion should be a valid one.
Milkman – Anna Burns. Set in post troubles Northern Ireland, it’s about Middle Sister who suddenly becomes interesting to, what I assume are, the wrong people. Not jumping to the top of the list for me.
Sabrina – Nick Drnaso. A graphic novel. Interesting. I’ve never read a graphic novel and I am curious to see why it made it to the longlist. I know I’m not going to read it, I like words but it certainly does shake things up a bit.
Washington Black – Esi Edugyan. Now this one sounds more like me. It is a story of a runaway slave and what appears to be his travels round the world. It has the potential to be fun whilst tackling the serious issues of slavery. I might need to have a look at this one.
In Our Mad and Furious City – Guy Gunaratne. Set during the summer London riots this book follows a group of friends. In particular, it looks at one boy who gets involved in radicalism. This also looks interesting and I’m sure I heard someone say it may be a bit experimental.
Everything Under – Daisy Johnson. The story of a solitary woman and her childhood on a canal boat with her mother and a mystery boy. This definitely has fairytale and folklore elements. I’m not really a fairytale person.
The Mars Room – Rachel Kushner. This is another one of my favourites to read. It is set in a woman’s prison in the US. Apart from making me think of Orange is the New Black, it feels like it could be a bit different.
The Water Cure – Sophie Mackintosh. There has been quite a lot of discussion about this one on booktube already. The reviews have been good but my gut instinct is not drawing me to it.
Warlight – Michael Ondaatje. I really like the sound of this one. A story about a brother and sister left by their Mother at the end of WWII. Given Ondaatje won the Golden Booker with The English Patient, I’m not surprised this book is on the longlist. I think it may be a definite one to read.
The Overstory – Richard Powers. Now, according to The New York Times Book Review, this is ‘[a] monumental novel about trees and people.’ OK. Trees? But then I read on and this is a book of individuals and their stories in relation to trees and then the different narratives are wound together. The style reminds me of Colum McCann and I really like his books. I can’t believe I am going to say this but I think this book about trees might be my first pick to read!
The Long Take – Robin Robertson. I think this may be Poetry and is therefore, not my thing. I won’t be reading this one. Which also probably means it is the winner!
Normal People – Sally Rooney. Following on from Conversations with Friends, which was shortlisted for all sorts of prizes is this love story about two girls with very different backgrounds who meet at Trinty College. Doesn’t sound anything new to me, I’ll pass.
From a Low and Quiet Sea – Donal Ryan. A tale of immigration and three men searching for their home in Ireland. Another pass for me.
All in all a very varied longlist this year and as always there are a couple that look interesting.