The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2016

Man Booker Prize 2016 Longlist

The longlist for the Man Booker Prize 2016 was announced today. The thirteen books are:

The Sellout by Paul Beatty (Oneworld)
The Schooldays of Jesus by J. M. Coetzee (Harvill Secker)
Serious Sweet by A. L. Kennedy (Jonathan Cape)
Hot Milk by Deborah Levy (Hamish Hamilton)
His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet (Contraband)
The North Water by Ian McGuire (Scribner UK)
Hystopia by David Means (Faber & Faber)
The Many by Wyl Menmuir (Salt)
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh (Jonathan Cape)
Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves (Scribner UK)
My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (Viking)
All That Man Is by David Szalay (Jonathan Cape)
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien (Granta Books)

For the first time ever, I have read not just one but two titles on the Man Booker Prize longlist at the time of it being announced which has never happened before. I particularly enjoyed Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh which is definitely among the creepiest books I have read this year and one of four debut novels on the longlist. As I said in my list of Man Booker Prize predictions, possibilities and preferences on Sunday, I wasn’t quite as taken with ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’ as many others but I might look into some of Strout’s other books at some point.

Like many others, I had particularly high hopes for The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry and ‘The Tidal Zone’ by Sarah Moss but unfortunately both of these titles either missed out or were not submitted for entry. The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes and Ian McEwan’s forthcoming ‘Nutshell’ are other notable absentees. However, as well as ‘Eileen’ and ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’, I also picked out ‘Do Not Say We Have Nothing’ by Madeleine Thien as a potential longlisted book in my predictions list and I am looking forward to reading it over the summer. I must also confess that I didn’t realise until today that ‘Purity’ by Jonathan Franzen was actually eligible last year – for some reason, I thought it had been published in November in the UK rather than September last year so apologies if I misled anyone with that!

Although guessing which books will appear on the longlist can be fun, I also enjoy discovering novels which are completely new to me when the announcement is made. Books by small independent presses on this year’s longlist include ‘The Many’ by Wyl Menmuir published by Salt and set in a remote Cornish fishing village while ‘His Bloody Project’ by Graeme Macrae Burnet published by Contraband is a historical crime thriller which I’m particularly interested in hearing more about. Just two of the authors have previously been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize – J. M. Coetzee has won it twice for ‘Life & Times of Michael K’ in 1983 and ‘Disgrace’ in 1999 while Deborah Levy was shortlisted for ‘Swimming Home’ in 2012.

Elsewhere, I will also be keeping an eye on The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize which produces an alternative shortlist to the official prize. Last year’s worthy winner was Fishnet by Kirstin Innes and I hope I will make further discoveries this year.

What do you think of this year’s Man Booker Prize longlist? Have you read any of the thirteen novels and which ones would you recommend?


Filed under Books

29 responses to “The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2016

  1. I haven’t read a single one-yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Col

    I find myself also having read two of those on the list – Lucy Barton and Hot Milk. While I thought former was great, Deborah Levy’s book is a bit like Swimming Home in some ways – there’s that spiky, slightly odd feel to a lot of the characters and it has a rather tense, jarring mood to it. It’s good though for me not as good as others that didn’t make the list! And that’s neither unusual not unique to me! Have read good things about His Bloody Project though and Eileen is also on my list already so looking forward to both.


  3. Thanks for the reminder about the Guardian’s Not the Booker list. Often as interesting if not more so that the Booker itself!


  4. I am surprised about Essex Serpent, and I’m glad the small presses are represented. Haven’t read any of these, as usual. I’m always behind with modern fiction, mainly as I know it will turn up in the charity shops in about 18 months!


  5. I am a bit staggered by this list! I can only assume some of the obvious candidates were not submitted (Barnes, Swift and Perry for example) I have only read one of the titles : My Name is Lucy Barton. Lots of reading to catch up on, I hope they are not all 700 pages.


  6. Pingback: kesuvulu

  7. We will never see the full submission list – can you imagine the cat fight that would ensue!!?


  8. Out of my predictions, only My Name is Lucy Barton made the list. I haven’t read any of these books, but Lucy Barton and Eileen have been on my TBR for months (I was able to put these on hold at the library yesterday). I already owned The Sellout, but I haven’t read it yet.

    I’m really interested in His Bloody Project, The Many, and Do Not Say We Have Nothing, but since they are from other countries, my library doesn’t have them and I can’t buy them for Kindle either. 😦


    • I’m interested in reading The Sellout too – satires can be quite hit and miss though so I will look at a few more reviews. Hopefully the other books you want to read will become available more widely now that they have been longlisted.


  9. Thanks for steering me towards Eileen! I enjoy your posts so much, always. Sending readers your way from Nashville, Tennessee:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve read Eileen & lucy barton. But those two were not really exciting! Hoping other books in the list wouldn’t disappoint.


  11. I am still plugging through last year’s winner – A Brief History of Seven Killings, and though overall it’s great, some parts are really difficult to stomach – the drug use, the violence, the language. I need to somehow plough through the next 100 pages or so before I start digging into this list!


  12. I have now read Eileen and posted my opinion. I agree, the creepiest book but absolutely compelling. Even though I felt dirty because of all the descriptions of filthy houses, and washing up left unattended for days and similar, I could not put it down and went on reading long into the night. A weird masterpiece.


  13. I have now read the whole longlist. Rather disappointing, if I am honest. So I assume the shortlist will be Coetzee, Levy, Strout, (I cannot see why you would put Coetzee on a longlist if everyone was not going to upgrade that decision, ditto Levy and Strout was one book I actually liked). So the other three – I hope Madeleine Thien and Ian McGuire and then am torn between AL Kennedy (though this is not her best book) and Virginia Reeves. I shall look forward to hearing what you think…(though I know you don’t have time to read them all – you will probably be commenting on the final selection).


    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts – really interesting! I’ve never managed to read a whole MBP longlist as I usually just pick out the titles which interest me the most so I think I’ll stick to that strategy if this year’s list is a bit hit-and-miss.


  14. Pingback: The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss | A Little Blog of Books

  15. Dying to hear your views on the short-list!


    • Sadly I don’t have time to write a proper post on the shortlist this week but I am pleased to see Moshfegh and Thien on the list – I’m reading Do Not Say We Have Nothing at the moment and really enjoying it. I know Eileen has had mixed reviews but I really liked it. Not surprised to see Serious Sweet wasn’t there as it had some quite serious flaws. The other book I’m really intrigued by is His Bloody Project so I’m hoping to read that at some point too!


  16. Well now we know who won!! I could not be more aghast!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.