Monday, July 23, 2012


A few days ago John_Self pointed out that Hawthorn and Child was the highest rated title on the list of Man Booker possibles on goodreads. This begged a question: what would the longlist look like if the decision was based on that site's reader ratings?

Among the eligible titles I am aware of, I found seventeen with average ratings of 4.5 or more. Of those, I am excluding JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, which has received lots of ratings from people who cannot possibly have read it yet, and three books (Black Bread White Beer by Niven Govinden, Held Up by Christopher Radmann, and Sam Thompson's Communion Town) which, at the time of writing, boast a single five-star rating. I should also point out that some contenders have not been rated by anyone yet - including Rose Tremain and WIll Self - while many others have only had a few, so things may well change over the coming months.

Here then are the thirteen books that currently have the highest average reader ratings on goodreads:

Ros Barber - The Marlowe Papers
Nicola Barker - The Yips
Ned Beauman - The Teleportation Accident
Stuart Evers - If This Is Home
Susan Fletcher - The Silver Dark Sea
Kirsty Gunn - The Big Music
Hema Macherla - Blue Eyes
James Meek - The Heart Broke In
Benjamin Myers - Pig Iron
Keith Ridgway - Hawthorn and Child
Monique Roffey - Archipelago
Alan Warner - The Deadman's Pedal
Gavin Weston - Harmattan

Now that would be an intriguing longlist - and note the complete lack of big names.

This year's judges have some fascinating choices to make. It is a shame they will have to consign so many books to the also-ran bin, but there is no excuse for them not to come up with an exciting list. (No pressure...) Add to My MSN Add to My Yahoo! Add to Google - Get paid to have your say


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