Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I'm sure Bookertime comes earlier ever year. The (not so) longlist came out yesterday. Sans McEwan (a bit of a surprise, he's almost always on there) and Amis (no surprise there, he rarely made the list) it looks quite a vibrant list - though the longlist is in itself a bit of a strange beast. Sometimes I think its a way of ensuring that books that the publishing industry wants on there, can get a mention, even if they don't make the last six - or a way to reward some plucky independents, even if they've no chance of being chosen. This year, there's an absence of big names and plucky independents, so perhaps its just the best 13 books of the year (yeah, right), as chosen by this year's panel. Inevitably, the last six always looks a little less interesting, a bit like the England squad when you boil it down to the first team. Interesting to see Tom McCarthy on now he's on a big publisher (as if that matters...) with "C", which would be a nice winner if only because John Berger's win for "G" was so memorable all those years ago. (He gave the prize to the Black Panthers, I think I read.) I'm in the delightful throes of David Mitchell's new novel, which I'll blog about here shortly, and any list that it wasn't on would definitely have something wrong with it.

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