Booker Prize Project

About this Project

The Man Booker Prize “promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year.”  It is awarded in Autumn after an announcement of first the longlisted titles and then the six shortlisted titles. I’m attempting to read all the winners since the award’s inception — and where I can, some of the longlisted and shortlisted books.

Progress so far:

Winning novels read to date: 38 of 50 titles, one ‘did not finish’. Books read are all marked **.

This includes books read before this challenge began in February 2012. Click the name of the book to read my reviews.

Winners 21st century

2015 – A History of Seven Killings (Marlon James)
2014 – The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Richard Flanagan) **Read April 2016
2013 – The Luminaries – (Catton) ** – Read June 2014
2012 – Bring Up the Bodies (Hilary Mantel) ** Read 2014
2011 – The Sense of an Ending (Barnes) ** Read 2012
2010 – The Finkler Question (Howard Jacobson)
2010-  Troubles  (J G Farrell) – the Lost Booker** Read 2013
2009 – Wolf Hall (Mantel) ** Read 2009
2008 – The White Tiger  (Adiga) ** Read 2012
2007 – The Gathering (Enright) ** Read May 2016
2006 – The Inheritance of Loss (Desai) ** Read March 2016
2005 – The Sea (Banville)** Read 2015
2004 – The Line of Beauty (Hollinghurst)
2003 – Vernon God Little (Pierre)
2002 – Life of Pi (Martel) ** Read April 2015
2001 – True History of the Kelly Gang (Carey)
2000
– The Blind Assassin (Atwood) ** Read 2012

Winners 20th century 

1999 – Disgrace (Coetzee) ** Read 2014
1998 – Amsterdam: A Novel (Ian McEwan) ** Read 2000
1997 – The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
1996 – Last Orders (Graham Swift) ** Read July 2016
1995 – The Ghost Road (Pat Barker) **Read 2015
1994 – How Late It Was, How Late (Kelman)
1993 – Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (Roddy Doyle)
1992 – The English Patient (Ondaatje) ** Read December 2015
1992 – Sacred Hunger (Unsworth)
1991 – The Famished Road (Ben Okri) Did Not Finish 2015
1990 – Possession: A Romance (A.S Byatt)** Re-Read Jan 2012
1989 – The Remains of the Day (Ishiguro) **Read 1990
1988 – Oscar and Lucinda (Peter Carey) ** Read February 2017
1987 – Moon Tiger (Penelope Lively)** Read Feb 2014
1986 – The Old Devils (Kingsley Amis) ** Read August 2016
1985 – The Bone People (Keri Hulme) ** Read 2014
1984 – Hotel Du Lac (Anita Brookner) ** Re-read July 2013
1983 – Life & Times of Michael K (Coetzee) ** Read July 2016
1982 – Schindler’s Ark (Keneally) ** Read 1982
1981 – Midnight’s Children (Salman Rushdie) ** Read 2013
1980 – Rites of Passage (Golding) ** Read 2016
1979 – Offshore (Penelope Fitzgerald)**. Read 2012 
1978 – The Sea, the Sea (Iris Murdoch) ** Read November 2015
1977 – Staying On  ** (Paul Scott) ** Read November 2015
1976  Saville (David Storey)** Read 2012
1975 – Heat and Dust (Jhabvala)** Read 2013
1974 – The Conservationist (Nadine Gordimer)
1974 – Holiday (Stanley Middleton) ** Read 2012
1973 – The Siege of Krishnapur: J.G Farrell ** Read 2012
1972 – G. (Berger)
1971 – In A Free State (V. S Naipul)** Read 2012
1970 – The Elected Member (Bernice Rubens) ** Read 2012
1969 – Something to Answer For (P.H Newby) ** Read 2012

Longlisted/Shortlisted titles

2016 Longlist  The Many (Wyl Menmuir) Read in 2016
2016 Shortlist Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Madeleine Thien) Read in 2016
2016 Shortlist All That Man Is (David Szalay) Read in 2016
2016 Longlist My Name is Lucy Barton (Elizabeth Strout) Read in 2016.
2015 Longlist Did You Ever Have a Family (Bill Clegg) Read in 2015
2015 A Little Life (Hanya Yanigahara) Read in 2015
2014 We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Karen Joy Fowler) Read in 2014
2014 History of the Rain (Niall Williams) Read in 2014
2014 How to be Both (Ali Smith) Read in 2015
2014 The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee Read in 2014
2013 Five Star Billionare (Tash Aw) Read in 2013
2013 Harvest (Jim Crace) Read in 2013
2013 Unexploded (Alison Moore) Read in 2013
2013 Skios (Michael Frayn) Read in 2012
2013 Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Rachel Joyce)  Read in 2012
2013 Snowdrops by A D Miller Read in 2013

Useful Links

  • Archive of the prize winners can be found here:
  • The Complete Booker blog site with reviews written by bloggers
  1. Did you enjoy Wolf Hall? I loved it. My mother hated it. I can’t wait to get started on the sequel.

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    • I did enjoy it – the opening sequence where Cromwell is a young boy being beaten by his drunken father was very powerful. Part of the power came from the way Mantel uses the present tense so you feel that you, the reader, are living through the same experience. She also writes from the perspective of being inside Cromwell’s consciousness which gives the narrative impact.

      I can see why some people didn’t like it though – there are times when its confusing who is actually doing what and of course there are lots of characters to remember. I want to re-read it because I’m sure I missed some things first time around Karen Heenan-Davies

      ________________________________

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  2. I always have a wry smile when I come upon people doing a Booker challenge. I’ve read quite a few books on the list, but there are some that I would NEVER read in a month of Sundays, so I would never do the challenge myself! Good luck to you (and read The Sea, The Sea, soon, it’s wonderful!)

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    • I’ll admit that there are some that I am really not looking forward to either. So I’m not giving any commitments that I will finish every single one..
      Ok I get the message about The Sea The Sea

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  3. I try to read Booker novels, but they don’t always appeal. Adored Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, and can’t wait for book three. Agree about The Sea The Sea – I’ve read it twice, when it first came out and again last year, and love it. Of the recent ones you haven’t yet read I enjoyed The Finkler Question and The Line of Beauty, but didn’t finish The Gathering.

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  4. I love this idea! I used to always make an effort to read the winner each year, but it has slipped somewhat to ones I just like the look of, but then I have discovered so many great books in the past by looking past my first impression and giving them a go. I’m going to the library and starting on the shortlist today!

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  5. Hi, Karen – I finally answered your e-mail about the Complete Booker site – only 2 years later! Did you get it? Has that ship already sailed? (Looking forward to exploring this blog, either way.)

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    • sorry I meant to reply and then stuff intervened so am glad you nudged me. Complete Booker unfortunately has come to a halt. all the regular contributors seemed to have other priorities so stopped writing reviews and I couldn’t get anyone to take on the ownership to try and give it a fresh start. you wouldn’t be interested would you??

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