My overall opinion of the list is mixed. It seems the judging panel went for plenty of comedic novels and stories about coming of age. This is fine, but is doesn’t make for a particularly varied list. There are, of course, many big hitting authors/novels that everyone assumed would get a nod and that were missed off. Personally I like that many of the authors are from a younger crowd rather than the old guard being relied upon. Sure, that’s going to disappoint people, but it makes sense for the future of literature that the up and coming are highlighted in such a way.
Last year I aimed to read the entire list and got through seven of them. This year I’m making no such promise. I have a few of the books already and have read two of them, but I’ll read at my own pace this time around.
So, here’s the list…
The Yips by Nicola Barker (Fourth Estate)
I have this sitting in my review pile and have flicked through it. It’s been on my radar for some time so I’ll definitely find time for this one.
The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman (Sceptre)
I’m not entirely sure why I left Beauman off of my predictions list, seeing as it’s (possibly) my favourite book of the year so far. I didn’t feel it would be an all round loved book by the panel but I’m ecstatic that Ned is listed here.
Philida by André Brink (Harvill Secker)
Philida is one that interests me and I have a copy on the way, so, I will be able to give my thoughts on it soon.
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Myrmidon Books)
The blurb for this didn’t really do a lot for me. I’ll pass on reading this one.
Skios by Michael Frayn (Faber & Faber)
Sounds fun, a bit different, but I’m unsure as to why it’s on the list. I’ll be reading it very soon as I want to know much more.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Doubleday)
I loved Harold Fry, I applaud the panel for choosing it for the longlist. It’s a cracking little book that explores many emotions.
Swimming Home by Deborah Levy (And Other Stories)
This caught my eye a few weeks back when I was offered it to review for a website but it didn’t do much to tickle my reading tastebuds. I passed then, I’ll pass now.
Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate)
On my reading pile, I’m 100 pages in. Will be finishing it over the Summer.
The Lighthouse by Alison Moore (Salt)
I’m very eager to read this one. It sounds great and I’ll be hunting down a copy as soon as I can.
Umbrella by Will Self (Bloomsbury)
I guessed this one more for the fact that it’s Will Self than anything else. I’ve read some of it and liked what I read. I’ll hopefully get back to it soon, though it’s lower on my list than others.
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil (Faber & Faber)
Heard great things about this, but the blurb did nothing for me.
Communion Town by Sam Thompson (Fourth Estate)
I have a copy of this here. I’ve read the first three chapters (stories?) and it didn’t grab me. The premise is great but the execution lacked a lot for me. I’ll be giving it a second chance, though.