Thoughts: Man Booker 2018 Predictions

I have not read the shortlist; I do not plan on reading the shortlist. That does not mean I am not super interested to see who will win later today. And I also have thoughts.

I read only two of the shortlisted books:

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

356108231I really enjoyed reading this but the longer I keep thinking about it, the more it falls apart. I found Romy a fascinating protagonist, difficult and flawed but also warm and somewhat easy to root for. I liked getting the glimpses into the other inmates’ stories and thought this added a nice, political layer to this book. But, the male perspectives did only peripherally add anything substantial to the book. I do get some parallels and what that says about misogyny but I would have liked this more without these men. I also think that the book is fairly flawed, as much as I enjoyed it. I do think it has a fair chance at winning and I would not be disappointed if it did, but I would not be overjoyed.

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

36396289I loved this; and unlike The Mars Room, it just keeps on growing on me. I love the non-linear timeline and Johnson’s prose and her wonderful way with characterization. I loved the whole reading experience and I am so very glad that the Man Booker gave me the nudge I needed to read this book. Because I am NOT as enamoured with the cover as everybody seems to be. I would be thrilled if this one won, but I am not really seeing it. But I would be so very pleased!

The four others on the shortlist just all do not sound like my cup of tea, for various reasons.

The Long Take by Robin Robertson

35659255This might be brilliant or it might not be, but I am not interested in Post War books (I read way too many in school) and I am also not the biggest fan of poetry (in English – there is something about English poetry that makes me doubt my language proficiency). I do think that this one is least likely to win, for one because the whole “should poetry be part of the Man Booker”-discussion would get blown up even more, and for another, I just don’t think this is anybody’s favourite to win.

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

39731474This is so far outside my reading taste, it’s quite impressive actually. I don’t like adventure stories and I also don’t like historical novels. This might be brilliant and it might add something new to the slave narrative and I am sure the writing is lovely, but I don’t see myself reading it. I also don’t think this’ll win the Booker, but I wouldn’t be mad if it did. It does seem to be an accomplished book after all.


Milkman by Anna Burns

36047860This sounded right up my alley, until I read parts of it. Stream of consciousness does not always work for me and I am not quite sure my English is good enough for me to appreciate this book (I had similar problems with A Brief History of Seven Killings by the way). It does sound like it might be the best book, from a technical standpoint, on this list and I would be weirdly enough pretty pleased if this won.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

35187203People are really divided on this book and while it sounds fascinating, it is also a ridiculously long book about trees. And I just don’t see myself reading this any time soon (which more often than not means never). I do think that the chances this will win are pretty high, even if the Brits will be aghast if another American man won. I am fairly unbothered either way to be honest.


So, to recap, I am pulling for Everything Under but I don’t think it’ll win, I do think The Overstory might win and people will be frothing at their mouths. Or Anna Burns wins this and all will be great.

Which one do you think will win? Which one would you like to win?

17 thoughts on “Thoughts: Man Booker 2018 Predictions

  1. EVERYTHING UNDER seems like the fan favorite this year, and that’s why I’m almost certain it won’t win. I haven’t read any of the shortlistees, but of the six, EVERYTHING UNDER is the book I’m most interested in. I can’t wait to see how it works out- great post Hannah!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m the same as you; zero plans on reading the shortlist. The ones I’m interested in are The Mars Room, Everything Under and Milkman so it was great to hear your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the best summary ever! And very accurate. I think The Overstory would be quite a deserving winner- it is a very long book about trees but it’s also a very good people story. That said I’m rooting for Milkman all the way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!
      I think if I had read The Overstory before it was longlisted I would really have enjoyed it; I do like interconnected stories a whole lot – but now I have seen so many people talking about not quite liking this, I don’t think I’ll get to it.


  4. I’ve only read 4 out of the 13 longlisted books, but my favourite of them was definitely Everything Under. It’s a beautifully written, nuanced, layered, and intelligent novel, and so I’d be more than happy to see it win. It shouldn’t matter, but it would also be nice since Johnson is a woman, and the youngest shortlisted author.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All is indeed great! I didn’t see this post before the announcement but I think you know my feelings anyway. I am so thrilled. I’ve had fun following the prize with you this year! Even if you didn’t read all of them, the fact that you’re still invested has been fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t do so well with stream of consciousness, so I probably won’t be reading the book either but I do think, from what I gathered, that it deserved the win.


    1. Very pleased!
      I am thinking of getting the audiobook for Milkman – I think I might fare better with that format . My listening comprehension for different British/UK dialects is actually better than my reading comprehension.


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