Thoughts: The Man Booker Prize 2018 Longlist

So, here we are again. I do love literary prizes, even if I am abysmal at actually reading the lists. And even though I often don’t agree with the Man Booker Prize, and I don’t really read enough Literary Fiction (with a capital L), I am always super excited when the longlist is announced. So yes, I looked up the longlist first thing this morning, while still in bed. And I have thoughts.

But first, here is the longlist (in case you haven’t seen it a million times today):

Belinda Bauer (UK)                      Snap (Bantam Press)

Anna Burns (UK)                          Milkman (Faber & Faber)

Nick Drnaso (USA)                       Sabrina (Granta Books)

Esi Edugyan (Canada)                 Washington Black (Serpent’s Tail)

Guy Gunaratne (UK)                    In Our Mad And Furious City (Tinder Press)

Daisy Johnson (UK)                     Everything Under (Jonathan Cape)

Rachel Kushner (USA)                The Mars Room (Jonathan Cape)

Sophie Mackintosh (UK)              The Water Cure (Hamish Hamilton)

Michael Ondaatje (Canada)         Warlight (Jonathan Cape)

Richard Powers (USA)                 The Overstory (William Heinemann)

Robin Robertson (UK)                  The Long Take (Picador)

Sally Rooney (Ireland)                  Normal People (Faber & Faber)

Donal Ryan (Ireland)                    From A Low And Quiet Sea (Doubleday Ireland)

Of these books I have read two: The Water Cure which I thought was beautifully written with an excellent use of imagery (my full review is here) and From A Low And Quiet Sea which was so stunningly written that an omission from this list would have baffled me (my full review is here).

Since the announcement I have requested (and received!) two books from NetGalley: The Mars Room which had intrigued me for months but came out at a time where I had way too many unread ARCs to request another one and Everything Under – a book that sounds so brilliant but has a cover where I was just convinced it most be YA (shame on me really for not reading the blurb).

I will not be attempting the longlist (I tried that last year and struggled a whole lot) but those two books do sound wonderful. I might read Sabrina because the first graphic novel to be longlisted must be absolutely brilliant, plus I do love graphic novels when I do read them and if I happen to come across Milkman I will read that as well because I have been considering it for a while now but other than that I think I will pass on the books. I might still change my mind when the excitement of other people reading the list gets to me but until then I am eagerly awaiting everybody’s review.

Overall I am quite excited though and I am curious to see who makes the shortlist.

Let’s chat! What are your thoughts? Have your read any of these books? Which ones are you most excited about? What are your feelings on literary awards?

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10 thoughts on “Thoughts: The Man Booker Prize 2018 Longlist

    1. Oh, I am looking forward to your thoughts on Washington Black! I am not good with historical fiction but this one looks interesting.
      Serpent’s Tail never ever approves my requests (I am assuming/hoping for rights reasons).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve read the exact same two as you, and am pleased to see them both on the list. I already own Snap, though had it pegged as an easy-read-thriller, so was very pleasantly surprised to see it crop up on the list!

    In general, I think it’s an exciting list, even if they don’t all appeal to me, personally. It’s cool to see a graphic novel recognised in terms of widening the scope of literary prizes, and I’m pleased so many young and female authors are nominated. As for the ones I haven’t read, I’m most intrigued by Everything Under.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I am looking forward to your thoughts on Snap! I don’t read all that many thrillers, so I am not sure if I’ll get to it. And yes! Graphic Novels! They are awesome and should be on longlists more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hopefully. Because when they are done right graphic novels are just so so so good. (on another note, I CANNOT believe Marjorie Liu was the first woman to win the Eisner. I mean, the first woman? In 2018? Although to be fair, in the 90s it was mostly Gaiman and Moore handing it back and forth)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi. I’ve tried reading quite a few books which have won either the Man Booker or Nobel Prize…I tend to find the Man Booker ones pretty hard to get into and therefore quite disappointing whereas the authors who’ve won Nobel Prizes seem somehow more accomplished. I guess art divides opinion and maybe I just don’t agree with one panel versus another. The more variety on the lists the better, if only so it raises awareness of different forms of art. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to admit that I don’t agree with the Man Booker very often either – mostly it’s a genre thing because I don’t really get on with historical fiction all that well and the judges seem to love it – but I still love it. I love the way people interact with the prize – and I do love reading everybody’s reactions.

      Liked by 1 person

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