The Man Booker Longlist 2013


The Man Booker prize longlist for 2013 was announced this week and the books are as usual a surprise for me…

The Man Booker longlist 2013

Some of the books on The Man Booker longlist 2013

  • Five Star Billionaire – Tash Aw
  • We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo
  • The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
  • Harvest – Jim Crace
  • The Marrying of Chani Kaufman – Eve Harris
  • The Kills – Richard House
  • The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Unexploded – Alison MacLeod
  • TransAtlantic – Colum McCann
  • Almost English – Charlotte Mendelson
  • A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki
  • The Spinning Heart – Donal Ryan
  • The Testament of Mary – Colm Tóibín

I haven’t read or even heard of any of the authors except for Jhumpa Lahiri who is fast turning out to be one of my favorite authors and I am really looking forward to reading The Lowland when it comes out.

Another book that sounds very interesting and that really pops from this list is The Kills by Richard House. This is a crime thriller and it’s rare to see a book like this on a regular Man Booker longlist. It’s also a pathbreaker of sorts…this was first published as a digital book and is apparently studded with audio and video riffing off the main story and developing the characters. It’s also published in hardback. This book may not win the main prize but I am positive this is going to be the runaway bestseller among this lot.

Another book that I’ve heard about and am interested to try is The Testament of Mary. It’s a story from the point of view of Jesus’ mother after his crucifixion. It’s pretty short and according to this Guardian review, a little subversive, an adjective that is sure to prick my interest.

One book that I”ll probably stay away from (unless I hear some strong recommendations from you) is Harvest by Jim Crace. It’s garnered a lot of praise for the lovely writing, and The Independent compares him to William Golding in style. Surely, such a book deserves a place on my shelf?

I just have this strong suspicion that is going to be a rambling and dense read with nothing much happening. You know every Man Booker longlist has one of these dense, incomprehensible reads, and I suspect Harvest could be this year’s dense nomination.

Have you read these books? Which books are you looking forward to reading? Which one will you be avoiding?

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  • First time I saw this list. I have not read any of the books! Looks like I have a lot of reading to do! Thanks!

  • Whoops, missed the publication of this list entirely! I sort of knew Transatlantic would be on it and I’d heard of A Time for the Time Being and The Luminaries before now, but as always, the Booker people seem to have magicked a lot of these out of thin air. 🙂 As to the readability of most Booker novels – I am right there with you! Lol.

    • @Book Blather: I did hear that some of these books are not yet even published everywhere, so I am not surprised that people haven’t heard of some of them.

      Usually, I do know the authors at least, but this time there are quite a few unknowns there.

      • Yep, I think Transatlantic is not yet in print – makes you wonder how they get on the list huh? The whole thing seems like one big con to raise hype and sell hardbacks sometimes. Cynical me!

        • @Book Blather: Oh, I don’t know. I respect the Man Booker nominations, and have enjoyed most of them….some of them (expected) turn out to be real clunkers.

          That said, I only read the popular Man Booker reads, so my impression is pretty skewed 🙂

  • I’d forgotten completely that it’s that time of the year! I didn’t know the list was out. It sounds interesting, though I don’t put much weight in awards. I have heard a lot about Ruth Ozeki from many people, so I might read that. And of course, Jhumpa Lahiri, but I haven’t read The Namesake either! Thanks for the list, I’m going to see how many I can find at the local store…

  • I’m glad you postd this, for I haven’t seen the list before. I agree with you about Jhumpa Lahiri; everything I’ve read which she has written has been fabulous to me. Colum? Not so much. It will be interesting to see which emerges the winner this year.

    • @Meredith: Thanks for visiting and commenting :). I always follow the Man Booker selections as they have a very diverse selection of books, I feel.

      This year is specially interesting as the authors aren’t that well known (at least not to me).

  • Jhumpa Lahiri is becoming my favourite too. I am looking forward to this new book of hers. 🙂

    • @dreamzandclouds: Yay for Jhumpa Lahiri. Must be nice for an author when people are ready to read her books without even having a clue what the story is about 🙂

      • As an aspiring writer, that’s got to be on my bucket list anyway!

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