four novels :
Me Cheeta: the Autobiographyfour non-fiction books :
A Case of Exploding Mangoes - Mohammed Hanif
A Fraction of the Whole - Steve Toltz
The Outcast - Sadie Jones
God's Own Country by Ross Raisina collection of short stories :
The Rest is Noise - Alex Ross
Stalin's Children - Owen Matthews
Empires of the Indus - Alice Albinaia
Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpanand a book of poetry :
Sunday at the Skin Launderette - by Kathryn SimmondsHelen Pidd discusses the selection in the Guardian (though she annoys the hell out of me by not listing all the longlisted titles in her piece!).
The novel I'm most curious to read is Me Cheeta :
... billed as the true story of Cheeta the Chimp, star of Hollywood blockbusters, told "in his own words". The book documents the life and times of a chimpanzee who has outlived all his co-stars from the 1939 film Tarzan to reach the ripe old age of 75. He withdrew from the limelight in 1964 after biting his Doctor Dolittle co-star Rex Harrison, and has retired to an old chimps' home in Palm Springs, California.Who the actual author is ... well so far we know not. But the publishers vouch for the fact that this is his/her first novel.
There are extracts from all these books and reviews here, so please do go browse.
Judge Claire Armistead on the Guardian blog describes how the judges whittled an original list of 170 down to just 10. I am quite fascinated by what she says about the Nowhere Books :
... perfectly respectable works which for no apparent reason seem to have fallen into a black holeand Everywhere Books:
... usually novels - which seemed to have surfed the zeitgeist far further than, in my opinion, they deserved to go (these shall remain nameless, though you need look no further than the longlists of some of the year's other literary prizes).One wonders!
The shortlist of five titles will be announced in November, and the overall winner in December.