Booker Prize Books
September 22, 2004 6:06 AM   Subscribe

The Booker Prize longlist came out last month. The shortlist came out this week. The question is: Have any of you read any of these and if so, would you recommend?
posted by grabbingsand to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
Read none of them, only definitely heard of one.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:44 AM on September 22, 2004

Oh, and I consider that a sad commentary on me, not the Booker panel.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:47 AM on September 22, 2004

Read David Mitchell's first (?) book, Ghostwritten, and was interested in Cloud Atlas, but then I read this review. (NY TImes)

I still may pick it up.
posted by szg8 at 7:14 AM on September 22, 2004

szq8 - your link is broken. You meant this.
posted by sohcahtoa at 7:29 AM on September 22, 2004

From the shortlist, I've only read The Master by Colm Toibin and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I'd definitely recommend them both, with Cloud Atlas being one I'd definitely push on anybody.

From the longlist, Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is proper c00l, and I'm a bit disappointed it didn't make it on to the shortlist as it's rilly good and it's fantasy elements would have made it an unconventional nominee.

(Incidentally; a friend of mine is one of this year's judges and I fairly sure I can see his hand in getting this on the longlist)

Matt Thorne's Cherry is, to be honest, not that great a novel by a fairly minor talent and I'm bemused as to how it made it on there. (Snark: I pretty sure I know why it's on there).

Also I suspect Nicola Barker's novel is rubbish but as I'm only basing that on having read a quarter of her debut novel I'm more than a touch unreliable.
posted by Hartster at 7:30 AM on September 22, 2004

I'm in the midst of Mitchell's Cloud Atlas at the moment and can gladly recommend it. So far it seems both structurally clever and very compelling. It has also managed to make me laugh out loud twice.

In fact, I think I'll sneak away, skip lunch, and just try to get another chapter in this afternoon.
posted by Verdant at 7:34 AM on September 22, 2004

Jonathan Strange is the only one I recognize from the list. A friend at Bloomsbury sent me a preview copy earlier this year, but I haven't had the patience to get through it yet.
posted by emelenjr at 8:16 AM on September 22, 2004

One of my jobs is at a bookstore (granted a US one) and the only title I've heard of is Jonathan Strange, though it's supposed to be awesome.
posted by drezdn at 8:53 AM on September 22, 2004

I`m reading Jonathan Strange right now, and it`s really quite good (though I`m only 100 pages in, it`s a bit big to bring around and so I only have limited times I can read it.) I don`t normally like fantasy (though I love Harry Potter) but this is so interestingly written - very historical without having all the stuff of genre "Fantasy". It`s quite dry in places, a very British humour to be sure, but so far I would recommend it. If you like it, I think you`ll really like it. One of those books.

I haven`t read any of the others, but from the long list, "The Island Walkers" has received great press here in Canada. Don`t know much more than that though.
posted by livii at 2:40 PM on September 22, 2004

I haven't read Mitchell's Cloud Atlas yet, but I've read Number9Dream and it's one of the best books I've read in a long time, I just loved it. I think you either like his writing or you don't, because some of the complaints I've read about it made no sense at all to me, like they read a different book.
posted by biscotti at 4:25 PM on September 22, 2004

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