2006 Man Booker Prize Longlist Follow-Up

Commentary on the 2006 longlist for the 2006 Man Booker Prize is starting to flow out now that people have had a day to digest it.

"The Age" leads, naturally enough, with the Australian angle, obtaining comments from both Carey and Grenville -- both voicing surprise that they actually made the list. To use a sporting analogy, they're "taking it one prize at a time".

"The Australian" also elicits a comment from Grenville, but uses that dreaded American term "threepeat" to indicate that Carey is up for his third prize.

In "The Sydney Morning Herald", Susan Wyndham covers the main Australian points but shifts focus by quoting Graham Sharpe of the William Hill bookmakers who says Mitchell "thoroughly deserves to win after being robbed with Cloud Atlas two years ago by Alan Hollinghurst's Line of Beauty". Which is more like it. He wuz robbed I tell ya, robbed.

Claire Armistead, in "The Guardian", leaves sport behind for a more alcoholic approach: "Like any good wine producer, the Booker has its vintage and non-vintage years. If last year's shortlist was premier cru, the previous two were best drunk young. On the strength of the 19 books on the latest longlist we are looking at a year that is respectable but not startling, which can expect to be served up at dinner parties across the literary world."

It's David vs Goliath in "The Daily Telegraph" as Nigel Reynolds seems delighted that Nadine Gordimer, at 82, is on the list. He also notes that Kiran Desai is the daughter of Anita Desai, a great writer, who was shortlisted for the prize three times in the 1980s and 1990s.

On the weblog front, the Literary Saloon isn't that impressed by the list: "None really seem prize-worthy to us, but the Carey and Mitchell are better than some of the titles that have taken this prize recently (including Carey's own True History of the Kelly Gang) -- though we also think Mitchell's three previous novels are better than this one is."

On the betting front, William Hill Bookmakers has Mitchell at 5/1, Carey and Waters at 7/1, Unsworth at 8/1 and Jacobson at 10/1.

Expect a lot more on this over the coming days/weeks.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 16, 2006 11:45 AM.

2006 Man Booker Prize Longlist was the previous entry in this blog.

2006 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards is the next entry in this blog.

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