Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The 2010 Booker Prize shortlist

I didn't attempt to publicly predict this year's Booker Prize shortlist because I only finished six of the thirteen novels. I was quite pleased, however, to see that three of the ones I enjoyed made the cut:
Room: A NovelThe Long Song: A NovelIn a Strange Room

Room by Emma Donoghue
I was really pulling for Room, because it became my favorite novel ever. I absolutely adored it (my review) and gave it 6 stars out of 5. Good news, U.S. readers, it will be published here next Tuesday, September 13. Get in line.

The Long Song by Andrea Levy
I called The Long Song "both incredibly literary and incredibly accessible as a story, which is an all too rare combination" (my review) and gave it 4.5 stars 

In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut
In a Strange Room was the first of the longlisted novels I read, and I called it "a smart, unique, modern novel" (my review) and gave it 4 stars.

Of the three I've read, I'm happiest to see Room included, but I'm pleased with all three. The three shortlisted novels I haven't read (yet):
Parrot and Olivier in AmericaCThe Finkler Question
Parrot and Olivier in America  by Peter Carey
C by Tom McCarthy
(out today in the U.S. Happy publication day, Tom McCarthy!)
The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
I confess, I feared the committee would pick six of the seven I hadn't read, but I'm thrilled to know I already have half of the shortlist read. I'm most eager to read C and The Finkler Question, and I'll start one of the two later today.

What was left out?
Again, it's hard to say when I've only read six of them, but the glaring omission to me is Rose Tremain's Trespass. I gave it 5 stars and said it's "an accessible literary novel with immense depth" (my review.)  Otherwise, I'm still looking forward to reading the rest of the longlist, especially The Slap, Skippy Dies, and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Truthfully, with such an exciting longlist this year, there were bound to be some wonderful novels left out.

What are your thoughts on this year's shortlist? 
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  1. I'm so excited that Room is on there -- I can't wait to read it!

  2. I have only read Room and I did really enjoy that. Its interesting that Room seems to be a firm favorite to win it amoung some of the bloggers.

  3. Yay! So, so hope that Room wins this one!

  4. I liked Room too -- a lot. It's definitely in my top 10 or 15 reads of the year, but I don't know if it's a 6 star for me (but I LOVE that rating).


  5. I haven't read any of these yet but I hope to read all of them soon! And I've been avidly reading your reviews of them!

  6. I'm reasonably happy with the short list, but am quite sad that Skippy Dies lost out - it is such a good book and I'd have liked many more people to read it. I'm surprised that Mitchell lost out, but everyone has heard of him already so that isn't such a loss.

    I really hope that you enjoy the rest of your long list reading - I'm sure you'll love most of them.

  7. I can't wait to read Room and The Long Song. I also want to read Skippy Dies even though it wasn't shortlisted.

  8. I am ashamed to admit that I haven't read any of the shortlist yet. I am most likely to pick up the Room or The Long Song first -those two jump out at me.

  9. @Coffee and a Book Chick - Run! Now! Read Room. Seriously. You'll love it!

    @Jessica - I think Room is both literary and a book you can recommend to a variety of readers. I hope it wins too!

    @Zibilee - Me too!

    @Jennifer - I'm glad you loved it too!

    @Amused - Thanks! It's been fun to read this with urgency this year. I realized I never made it through any of last year's longlist.

    @farmlanebooks - I'm looking forward to Skippy Dies. It's getting some great buzz in the U.S. right now.

    @Stephanie - You're in for two very different treats with those two. I'm looking forward to Skippy Dies too!

    @BooksNYC - No shame in not reading them yet. I hope you enjoy both of those picks as much as I did!


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