The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2014

This year’s Man Booker Prize longlist was announced today. The thirteen titles are:

Joshua Ferris – To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
Richard Flanagan – The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Karen Joy Fowler – We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Siri Hustvedt – The Blazing World
Howard Jacobson – J
Paul Kingsnorth – The Wake
David Mitchell – The Bone Clocks
Neel Mukherjee – The Lives of Others
David Nicholls – Us
Joseph O’Neill – The Dog
Richard Powers – Orfeo
Ali Smith – How To Be Both
Niall Williams – History of the Rain

In previous years, the Prize was only open to authors from Commonwealth countries, Ireland or Zimbabwe. Last year, it was announced that authors from anywhere in the world writing in the English language would be eligible. Many predicted that the Prize would be dominated by American authors which was the case earlier this year when the inaugural Folio Prize shortlist was announced. This year, 44 out of the 154 books which were submitted and 5 out of the 13 books longlisted books were written by authors who wouldn’t have been eligible in previous years which is a fairly significant number. There is still a strong presence of British authors but fewer from other countries.

So far, I have read a grand total of 0 books on this year’s longlist but I intend to read ‘Us’ by David Nicholls (author of ‘One Day’ and ‘Starter for Ten’) which hasn’t been published yet and ‘The Lives of Others’ by Neel Mukherjee. I am undecided about ‘The Bone Clocks’ by David Mitchell having failed to finish ‘Cloud Atlas’ last year although I have read a couple of very positive early reviews. Similarly, I didn’t really get on with ‘The Finkler Question‘ by Howard Jacobson which won the Prize in 2010 and so I also have some reservations about ‘J’.

Paul Kingsnorth is the only debut author this year and his novel ‘The Wake’ is the first ever crowdfunded book to appear on the Booker Prize list. However, ‘The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tartt didn’t make an appearance on the list and neither did ‘A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing’ by Eimear McBride which has already won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Desmond Elliot Prize and the Goldsmiths Prize. Once again, the  judges haven’t selected the predicted favourites, but then it wouldn’t be the Booker Prize if the longlist was unsurprising.

What do you think of this year’s longlist? Have you read any of the novels?

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2014

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings

    Too many Americans for my liking……

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  2. Haven’t read a bean, as per usual, though I’m always excited to hear the nominees. No excitement for me here though. I’m surprised, yet also faintly relieved that The Goldfinch isn’t on there. It seems to special almost….I’m half way through and I’d hate a Booker-style hoo hah to spoil it for me 🙂

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  3. I haven’t read any of the titles on the longlist either! I really expected to see A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing on the list too.

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  4. A lot of people are surprised that The Goldfinch is not on the list; I think there was concern that in this, the first year where novels in English from all over the world are eligible, that it would be dominated by American novels. Four out of thirteen isn’t exactly a big deal, but of course people will wonder what other four novels could have been on the list if US authors had been excluded. It’s a surprisingly non post-colonial list, when you consider that the Booker has been dominated in recent years by post-colonial authors. I blogged about today’s announcement. Joseph O’Neill is tipped to win. http://ragingfluff.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/thirteen-novels-you-need-to-pretend-you-have-read-this-summer-the-man-booker-longlist/

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  5. The only book I’ve been planning to read that is on the list that I own is Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World. I’d describe the list as eclectic! I’m kind of happy that The Goldfinch isn’t on the list or A Girl is a Half Formed Thing. The competition should be interesting and difficult to predict as usual.

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  6. It doesn’t inspire me at all, I hated The Finkler Question so hope J doesn’t win as I usually read the winner, this year with all those men and Americans I may not bother. The prize is a bit spoilt for me now.

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    • I would have liked to have seen at least a couple more debut novels on the list. With the Booker, I find that the list becomes more interesting once I become more familiar with the titles and start hearing more about what other people have to say about them. Although there are only 2 books on there at the moment that I definitely want to read, this may increase later on.

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  7. Chris Sullivan

    I have to admit to not having read any of the list. I’ve I find time to squeeze any of these books onto my TBR I think I will start with the Paul Kingsnorth’s debut novel.

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  8. I’ve read We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – best book I’ve read this year – brilliant.
    I intend to read the Hustvedt and the Nicholls. I had earmarked the Ferris as well but another blogger (whose opinion I trust!) didn’t enjoy it and said it didn’t compare well to his first book, so I’ll probably give it a miss.
    History of Rain looks interesting; will pass on J (I didn’t finish the Finkler Question and I NEVER put books down halfway through!) and as an Aussie, I really must read the Flanagan.

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    • The Finkler Question seems to have received the most mixed reviews out of all of the recent winners. It will be interesting to see if J makes the shortlist…also interesting to hear you enjoyed We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves as I have heard terrible things about The Jane Austen Book Club!

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  9. The only one of the list I’ve read is Orfeo. First Richard Powers I’ve read, and I loved it (review here: http://bosilawhat.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/orfeo-by-richard-powers/)

    I loved Cloud Atlas, so I may give The Bone Clocks a try too.

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  10. I’ve only just read The Luminaries, so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do 🙂 Think I’ll have to wait for the short list, though.

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  11. I’ve read none of them and apart from the Neel Mukherjee have very little desire to. I guess we can safely say the Commonwealth is dead in terms of the Booker. Which for me pretty much means the Booker is dead…

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  12. Reblogged this on Bookabye Baby and commented:
    I’ve only read The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and it quickly made it into my Top 3 books. I love it, and hope Richard Flanagan wins!

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  13. Thanks for this. I’m a big fan of Richard Powers, so I will try and get to this. I did enjoy the Finkler Question so maybe J too.

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  14. Carole Besharah

    I just finished The Bone Clocks. What a mind-tripping thrill ride! Check out my review here (no spoilers): http://grandbarda.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/a-gripping-thrill-ride-the-bone-clocks-by-david-mitchell/

    Now, onto J.

    I enjoyed reading these comments. Cheers!

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  15. Have just completed The Luminaries, and now on The Wake…Hope its doesn’t take much time like The Luminaries…. Phew was tired reading that book.

    Hope to read the whole list soon.

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