Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The 2012 Booker Dozen: A U.S. Reader's Guide

The wait is over, friends. The 2012 Booker Prize longlist is here! And so far, I've read none of them. I wasn't planning on reading the entire longlist this year for a variety of reasons, but of course once the list was announced, I got excited. I've already ordered copies of all of them. I must say: I expected a list of literary familiars. Instead, we're treated to four (!) debut novelists (just like last year) and many authors unfamiliar to me. I'm looking forward to exploring these books.

Unfortunately, this list is incredibly unfriendly to U.S. readers. Several of the titles aren't even out in the UK yet. It is, however, a list one could easily read through before October 16, when the winner is announced (the shortlist will be announced September 11.) Using page numbers provided by Amazon, one only has to read 48 pages each day to finish in time (if you can get a copy of all of these gems.) Clicking on the covers takes you to Amazon.

The ones available in the U.S. now:


Skios  by Michael Frayn (Kindle version)
The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Kindle version)
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Kindle version)
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil (Kindle version)

The ones coming (somewhat) soon to the U.S.:


The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman (March 2013)
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (September 4, 2012)
Umbrella by Will Self (January 2013)

The ones we hope make their way to the U.S.:


The Yips by Nicola Barker
Philida by Andre Brink
Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
The Lighthouse by Alison Moore*
Communion Town by Sam Thompson

*(Amazon US lists a March 2012 pub date and has it temporarily out of stock. The publisher lists a September publishing date in the UK.)

While I wait for my shipments to arrive from Amazon UK and the Book Depository, I'll be taking The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Skios with me on vacation this weekend. I hope Narcopolis will be ready to pick up at the library when I return.

Now tell me: which title(s) are you most excited to read? What are you most surprised to see (or not see) on this list?

As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!

28 comments:

  1. Thank you for this. It's very helpful! I am disappointed Absolution didn't make it, but you can't win them all I guess!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marie, I was hoping for Absolution too, simply because so many people have been raving about it, and I was hoping for an excuse to read it sooner rather than later. I am excited about the longlist, but the more I think about the longlist, the more I think of titles I wish had made it!

      Delete
  2. Oh I love that you're diving into The Unlikely Pilgrimage. I want to pick a copy on vacation! I'm busy with Broken Harbor at the minute. I'll agree that I actually expected to see more familiar names but it's a nice introduction. And the cover art for these?! Easy on the eyes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you're loving Broken Harbor as much as you hoped to, Beth! Yes--the cover art is gorgeous on so many of them. I can't wait to dive in!

      Delete
  3. At least I feel better knowing WHY I didn't hear of a lot of these!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same way! When I first saw the list, I said "what?" Then I discovered how many England-only and independent presses were represented. I'm excited to discover so many new authors!

      Delete
  4. I'm impressed that you've bought the entire longlist! I wasn't inspired enough to buy any of them. I'm lucky enough to have a few in my library system and will wait patiently for the rest to turn up there. I look forward to comparing notes with you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jackie, I'm hoping I don't regret purchasing so many of them! As always, I look forward to comparing notes with you too!

      Delete
  5. I'm not American, but I still appreciate this post! I'm actually reading Bring Up The Bodies now, how appropriate :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sam! I still need to read Wolf Hall, but I'm looking forward to it.

      Delete
  6. I'm not American either, but this is really interesting to see which titles are going to gain overseas sales from the publicity of being listed. I'm linking to this post in my own summary for my USA readers. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Alex. I'll look forward to your post!

      Delete
  7. This list just basically makes me want to read Wolf Hall all the more. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andi, I'll be reading it in the next few weeks, and I'm totally nerve-cited. Good luck!

      Delete
  8. I was indeed surprised that the only two books I had even heard of were Bring Up the Bodies and The Unlikely Pilgrimage...
    But I wonder how much this prize impacts making the books available here. There are still some books I was interested in from last year's longlist that haven't shown up at my county's library yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lindsey, last year the publisher moved the US publication of Sense of an Ending from January to September/October because of the Booker shortlist. Sadly, I doubt the longlist will make much of a difference, but I think the winner and perhaps shortlisted titles may get fast-tracked for the US. Here's hoping!

      Delete
  9. An interesting collection! Most of these are new to me, though I've read Harold (loved!) and have Bring Up the Bodies in my bookcase. Skios is one I've heard a bit about, but I can't recall the plot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meg, I'm really looking forward to Harold Fry. Everyone seems to be raving about it!

      Delete
  10. you've ordered ALL of them! Wow!! I've only heard of Bring up the Bodies but some of the others have covers that I just don't know that I can resist. I've never read long lists or short lists in anticipation of the prize but I've never read a Booker that I didn't end up loving!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trish, even though I know I won't love all of them, I do have a soft spot for reading through prize lists, especially when others are doing so too and we can discuss. It's like a giant, worldwide book club:-)

      Delete
  11. I will never see a prize die-hard fan like you! You bought all of them! Interesting to see Tan Twan Eng's being longlisted again after his Gift of the Rain longlisted in the past Man Booker. I agree that these books seem to come out of nowhere. Is this to become of the Man Booker's trend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JoV, there are so many prize diehards--they're part of the reason I became one! I think it's hard to speak of Booker trends as the judges change each year. I think it's more a sign of these judges' personal tastes, but we shall see!

      Delete
  12. I read Narcopolis, and it really blew my mind. I had no idea that things like that were still going on. It's a strange and trippy read, and I am wondering what you will think of it. I will also be listening to Bringing Up the Bodies soon as well. The others I have never heard mentioned before. I am going to have to look into some of these. Great post today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zibilee, I remember the rave reviews of Narcopolis and am so glad to have an excuse to read it sooner rather than later. I'm really looking forward it after your review!

      Delete
  13. Hey, I'm taking Harold Fry on vacation with me this week, too. Looking forward to reading it, as I've heard great things.

    The others will remain unread.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jill, way to not buckle to the pressure of prize lists. I could use some of that mojo sometimes I think! Enjoy your vacation!

      Delete
  14. I just read a pretty positive review of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, so I may pick that one up. (I may also wait to hear what you think of it first!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really looking forward to Harold Fry. It will be one of the first three I read!

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!