Booker 2004 longlist

It’s out; the Scots are complaining, the Canadians aren’t. I imagine the Pakistanis are happy about Nadeem Aslam being on the list, or at any rate they’re sending the Babu a lot of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ emails. The Guardian nabbed the usual Booker-as-a-horse-race metaphor earlier than the rest this year. Many of the big names fell at the first fence, to use the cliche-du-jour. The judges comment here and here. Rowan Pelling said: “Some of the biggest names disappoint. Only the most besotted fan would claim that Louis de Bernières, Muriel Spark, VS Naipaul and Jeanette Winterson have produced their best work this year. But they have gongs aplenty and will still sell in shed-loads. And if you don’t deadhead the roses, how will you encourage new shoots?”

The Literary Saloon has a nice rant on the judging and submissions process. Read it keeping The Bookseller’s wimpy defence in mind: “The current rules are the least bad ones available.” Yeah, how’s that for enthusiasm?

Here’s the longlist, with current odds, and here’s the official Booker website:

Alan Hollinghurst: The Line of Beauty 4/1

Louise Dean: Becoming Strangers 8/1

David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas 8/1

Colm Tóibín: The Master 8/1

Nicola Barker: Clear: A Transparent Novel 10/1

Chimamanda Ngozi: Purple Hibiscus 10/1

James Hamilton-Paterson: Cooking with Fernet Branca 12/1

Gail Jones: Sixty Lights 12/1

Gerard Woodward: I’ll Go To Bed at Noon 12/1

Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell 16/1

Neil Cross: Always the Sun 16/1

Achmat Dangor: Bitter Fruit 16/1

Lewis Desoto: A Blade of Grass 16/1

Sarah Hall: The Electric Michelangelo 16/1

Justin Haythe: The Honeymoon 16/1

Shirley Hazzard: The Great Fire 16/1

Nadeem Aslam: Maps for Lost Lovers 20/1

John Bemrose: The Island Walkers 20/1

Ronan Bennett: Havoc, in its Third Year 20/1

Sam North: The Unnumbered 20/1

Nicholas Shakespeare: Snowleg 20/1

Matt Thorne: Cherry 20/1

One comment

  1. Where have you been all of my life? Love your site. Can’t wait to see what happens as the Booker race unfolds. Odd for us look good, says the Canadian.

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