The Booker Prize 2014 Longlist has recently been revealed by this years judges, and while it’s the first in its history to admit novels from anywhere in the world, it’s also managed to become one of the most criticised longlists in its history for its narrow outlook. With complaints over a lack of international focus, too few a number of female finalists and five entries that aren’t as of yet available to the public there’s a lot to potentially point a finger at, but instead of jumping on the bandwagon swinging our own mouthy stick, we’ll let you decide for yourself:
The Booker Prize 2014 Longlist:
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
Author – Joshua Ferris (Viking) – Caucasian, male, from Illinois, USA
Release date – 29th May 2015
Plot – An affluent, but ultimately unfulfilled, middle aged dentist from New York discovers doppelgänger Twitter and Facebook accounts in his name as he’s trying to find meaning in his own life. The fact that the other him seems to be living a better life pushes him to the edges of his own reason, giving the book similarities to The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Release date – 3rd July 2014
Plot – A love story between a doctor and his uncle’s wife set against the backdrop of the construction of the Thailand-Burma Death Railway in World War II. As a surgeon in one of Japan’s prisoner of war camps responsible for the construction of the railway, the horrors of the situation are his usual daily deliverances, but when a letter arrives his life gets spun in new directions.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Release date – 19th June 2014
Plot – Rosemary holds her family secrets close to her as she struggles with coming of age in college. With her brother and unique sister gone from her life she finds it time to tell her story in all it’s random craziness.
The Blazing World
Release date – 13th March 2014
Plot – A New York artist’s vexations at the city’s art critic scene are expressed through a collection of texts by a scholar years after her death, documenting her plot to expose them by presenting her work through the front of three male pseudonyms.
Release date – 14th August 2014
Plot – Howard Jacobson’s J is love story set in a future in which the past is a dangerous taboo, not to be talked about, despite the bizarre hints at what occurred. With a big event referred to as What Happened and the ever present telltale signs of brutality, it’s a dystopian story that draws parallels with George Orwell’s 1984.
Having won the 2010 Booker Prize with The Finkler Question, J is definitely one of the favourites to take the 2014 prize.
Release date – 20th March 2014
Plot – The Wake is a historical novel set in the three years following the Norman invasion of 1066. It focuses on a party of guerrilla fighters under the leadership of the Buccmaster of Holland, as they battle to repel the invading force.
The Bone Clocks
Release date – 2nd September 2014
Plot – A strange tale of the life of Holly Sykes, from her runaway teenage years to her old age on the west coast of Ireland as the World’s supply of oil begins to run out. However, there’s more to the story than a troubled existence as Holly bequeaths asylum to a strange women in her runaway years only to find that the decision would impact her forever as precognition, strange visitations, the suspension of the laws of physics and a murderous feud see her becoming the hero of the story.
The Lives of Others
Release date – 22nd May 2014
Plot – Political extremism and family life combine in Mukerjee’s story of Calcutta in 1967. The tide of change is all around the Goshes family and rivalries, secrets, financial breakdown and a fractured society swirl up the silt of worry.
Release date – 30th September 2014
Plot – Us is the story of Douglas Petersen’s broken marriage and a troubled relationship with his son. Just as it’s all crumbling to tatters he devises a plan to try to repair it all over the course of a grand tour holiday in Europe.
Release date – 31st July 2014
Plot – Joseph O’Neill’s latest novel is an out of the frying pan into the fire story of an attorney that takes a job in Dubai as he looks for a fresh start following the end of his previous relationship. However, as he takes on the role of overseer to a massive family fortune he finds that the grass isn’t always greener and old baggage isn’t so easily swapped for shiny new fare.
Release date – 3rd April 2014
Plot – A 77 year old avant-garde composer turned microbiologist finds himself in a countrywide witch hunt as homeland security implicate him as a bioterrorist. Going into hiding and attempting to visit his loved ones he hatches a plan to fight back in his own unique way.
How to be Both
Release date – 4th September 2014
Plot – Structure, form and time blur the lines of literary norms as Ali weaves a story of the versatility of art that ranges from the 1960s to renaissance art in 1460. Two stories of love, art and injustice interweave into one truth that seems to imply that people never change.
History of the Rain
Release date – 10th April 2014
Plot – The bedridden daughter of a dead poet pledges to work her way through her father’s vast collection of 3,958 books from her bedroom, in which all of the books have been piled.