Yesterday was the Booker long list day and I had been eagerly looking forward to it for a while. And 'eagerly looking forward to' does not translate to 'staying awake and checking email' in my vocabulary, so I checked the mailer from the Man Booker site this morning. A pretty good list and it created a nice pressure buzz in my head at the thought of heading to the bookstore the moment some of the expected ones are out.
After email I read this nice post about the long list and have been waiting to write my own two cents ever since. What excited me most about the list was John Banville's The Sea making it there. About seven years ago, I first picked up The Book of Evidence and was rudely disturbed by the thoughts that it made me think, the nights it made me toss about. The Book of Evidence, a brilliant piece of writing which made it to the Booker shortlist in 1989, made me examine my outlook to death and ask myself some queasy questions. While I have not read any other Banville, I have thought about BoE several times over the years. I made copious notes when I read it! Now is a good time to renew connection with The Sea.
The other thing is that I have read very few (just three) authors in that long list, have heard about a few more (just seven). The rest are fresh meat (never mind the horrible usage).