Book Reviews

Booker Prize Long List Draws Closer

The judges are getting close to the time when their long list selection for the 2012 Man Booker prize will be announced.

The judges have more than 100 titles to read from which they’ll select 12 or 13 titles (names will be announced in July) and then the six shortlisted titles in September. The big fanfare comes in October when the Man Booker prize winner will be announced.

Now I think of myself as an avid reader and a fairly quick one at that. But the thought of having to read more than 100 novels in less than seven months, would terrify me. I could possibly manage it if a) I gave up work and b) stopped doing domestic stuff like gardening, ironing, cleaning etc etc. But these judges are still active in their own professions whether acting or academia. So it begs the question for me – how much do they actually read as opposed to skimming? And if they do actually read them, how much can they retain in order to be able to debate the merits of each with their fellow judges?

Would love to be a fly on the wall of some of their discussions. “Was that the one where …….”


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

2 thoughts on “Booker Prize Long List Draws Closer

  • Ah, see, I think I could do it (read 100 books in 7 months, that is). And what a glorious excuse for putting off housework!

    But I doubt they read every word of every book. I’ve always imagined that the judges will abandon books fifty pages in or so if they just aren’t clicking with them.

    • It’s an interesting question Gayla – can you tell by 50 pages in, whether a book is going to grab you or not? I suppose it depends on the book. I abandoned The Forgotten Garden about 10 pages in; with A House for Mr Biswas it was 70 pages before I decided i really could not go on. But if i was having to then discuss all the books with a panel of esteemed experts, I think I would feel I needed to at leave finish each one….


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