The OF Blog: List of Booker Prize winners

Sunday, August 18, 2013

List of Booker Prize winners

Since I've been reading the Booker Prize shortlists for the past few years (and largely reviewing the books on those shortlists), I thought I'd post here a list of the previous winners (similar to what I do for the Nobel Prize in Literature) and highlight the books that I've read and/or own.  Due to my age and nationality and literary interests, this should be a fairly bottom-heavy highlighting:

1969   P.H. Newby, Something to Answer For     
1970   Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member            
1971   V.S. Naipaul, In a Free State           
1972   John Berger, G.         
1973   J.G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur     
1974   Stanley Middleton, Holiday           
             Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist 
1975   Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust           
1976   David Storey, Saville             
1977   Paul Scott, Staying On     
1978   Iris Murdoch, The Sea, the Sea        
1979   Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore         
1980   William Golding, Rites of Passage         
1981   Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children 
1982   Thomas Keneally, Schindler’s Ark          
1983   J.M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K    
1984   Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac   
1985   Keri Hulme, The Bone People       
1986   Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils           
1987   Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger    
1988   Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda    
1989   Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day       

1990   A.S. Byatt, Possession      

1991   Ben Okri, The Famished Road 
1992   Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger          
             Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient 
1993   Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha        
1994   James Kelman, How Late It Was, How Late 
1995   Pat Barker, The Ghost Road         
1996   Graham Swift, Last Orders    
1997   Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things      
1998   Ian McEwan, Amsterdam    
1999   J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace         
2000   Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin    
2001   Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang        
2002   Yann Martel, Life of Pi         
2003   D.B.C. Pierre, Vernon God Little      
2004   Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty    
2005   John Banville, The Sea          
2006   Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss        
2007   Anne Enright, The Gathering           
2008   Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger        
2009   Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall        

2010   Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question            

2011   Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending       

2012   Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies 

So far, only read 9 winners out of 44 years (and 46 winners/co-winners) of the Booker Prize.  Might read more of these in the near future, but part of me is hesitant, considering my negative reactions to other works written by some of the Booker Prize winners that I already have read.


James said...

Italics means you own the book but haven't read it, right? If so, why the hell haven't you read The God of Small Things yet?

Larry Nolen said...

Mostly because I haven't been reading much of anything lately, but also because I'm thinking of saving it for a Saturday read in September. I always seem to read more during college football season, maybe because I put books beside me while I listen (and occasionally) watch the games. It will be read soon (I didn't buy it until earlier this year and I often go months between purchase and reading).

James said...

Maybe my memory is faulty, but I remember you recommending it to me a couple years ago. It came as a bit of a surprise to find you that you haven't read the book yet--and more of a surprise to find out that I have read a book on this list before you (it is also the only book on this list that I have read).

Larry Nolen said...

You must be mistaken, because I didn't buy the book until late April/early May 2013, although I had intended to buy it for a while before then.

Well, there's something about a blind squirrel finding an acorn somewhere in all this, I suppose... ;)

Liviu said...

I read some too -

1972 (excellent and controversial - author refused the prize while the book touches on some taboo themes from incest to a sort of bdsm),
1977 (ok not great),
1978 (great romance, used to love Iris Murdoch's books as a teenager),
1988 (mostly browsed through but enough to make an opinion and did not really care about - in the same vein try the longlisted Luminaries which so far is superb)
1989 (quite good but the movie remained more with me)
1990 (good but a bit underwhelmed by expectations; loved Children's Book much much more and it just lost to Wolf Hall in 2009)
1992 - both (Unsworth not impressed read much more interesting books by him but i guess the subject carried the day; Ondaatje - read after the movie and loved both)
1998 (again ok romance but not as impressed)
2000 (superb - the best book on this list imho and one of my all time favorites)
2009 (superb - second best on the list)
2010 (mediocre - zoo time is much funnier and better)
2011 (pretty good imho)
2012 (excellent too but not on par with Wolf hall, too "choreographed")

Overall from what i read Blind Assassin, Wolf hall and G are my clear top 3

DaveS said...

I also thought Murdoch -- and particularly The Sea, The Sea along with The Black Prince -- to be quite brilliant when I was in HS and college.

Liviu said...

oops - talking about McEwan confused Atonement with Amsterdam (this last is darker and not quite a romance but still not that memorable for me at least)

As for I. Murdoch, I remember reading Philosopher's Pupil when i was about 17-18 and being blown out by it as i was by The Sea, The Sea

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