If you’ve got the book bug, feast your eyes on these contenders for the coveted £50,000 Man Booker Prize. Here are our mini reviews of each long-listed title, and there's a chance for you to win the lot.
The longlist, also known as the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ features 13 of the best works of fiction by writers of any nationality writing originally in English and published in the UK.
Chair of the 2016 judges, Amanda Foreman, said: "This is a very exciting year. Each novel provoked intense discussion and, at times, passionate debate, challenging our expectations of what a novel is and can be."
"From the historical to the contemporary, the satirical to the polemical, the novels in this list come from both established writers and new voices. It is a longlist to be relished."
Former double winner J.M. Coetzee makes the list with The Schooldays of Jesus. He won the then Booker Prize in 1983 with Life & Times of Michael K and then again with Disgrace in 1999, making him the first writer to win the prize twice.
Four debut novels make the longlist: Hystopia by David Means; The Many by Wyl Menmuir; Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh and Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves. Five UK and five US authors made the cut alongside three Commonwealth authors.
The Booker Prize for Fiction was first awarded in 1969 to P. H. Newby for Something to Answer For (Faber). In 2015 Marlon James won the Booker Prize with A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld).
The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 13 September and the winner will be announced on Tuesday 25 October.
by Paul Beatty (US)
A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court.
Named one of the best books of 2015 by The New York Times and winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction.
by J.M. Coetzee (South African)
Haunting sequel to The Childhood of Jesus that continues the journey of David, Simon and Ines.
Described by Joyce Carol Oates as "a Kafka-inspired parable of the quest for meaning itself".
by A.L. Kennedy (UK)
Poignant, deeply funny, and beautifully written.
Award-winning novelist A. L. Kennedy’s moving love story is about two decent, damaged people trying to make moral choices in an immoral world, ready to sacrifice what’s left of themselves for honesty and for a chance at tenderness.
by Deborah Levy (UK)
A profound exploration of the sting of sexuality, of unspoken female rage, of myth and modernity, the lure of hypochondria and big pharma, and, above all, the value of experimenting with life; of being curious, bewildered, and vitally alive to the world.
by Graeme Macrae Burnet (UK)
A brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of seventeen-year-old Roderick Macrae.
There is no question that Macrae committed this terrible act. But what would lead such a shy and intelligent boy down this bloody path? And will he hang for his crime?
This thrilling and lurid crime novel will keep you guessing until the very end.
by Ian McGuire (UK)
Everyone—critics and celebrated writers alike—has been raving about this dark, riveting yarn set aboard 19th-centuryry whaling ship during a harsh winter.
It sets sail for an Arctic expedition… with a killer on board. Bestselling author Colm Toibin describes it as “encounter between Joseph Conrad and Cormac McCarthy”.
by David Means (US)
Means is best known for his short stories. Hystopia is his first published venture into the long form.
Described by The New York Times as a “dark acid trip of a novel”, this book is as outlandish as it is tender, as funny as it is violent in its exploration of the nature of memory.
by Wyl Menmuir (UK)
Timothy Buchannan buys an abandoned house on the edge of an isolated village on the coast, sight unseen.
When he sees the state of it he questions the wisdom of his move, but starts to renovate the house for his wife, Lauren to join him there.
An unsettling tale that explores the impact of loss and the devastation.
by Ottessa Moshfegh (US)
A lonely young woman working in a boys’ prison outside Boston in the early 60s is pulled into a very strange crime, in a mordant, harrowing story of obsession and suspense.
Creepy, mesmerising, and sublimely funny, in the tradition of Shirley Jackson and Vladimir Nabokov, this powerful debut novel enthrals and shocks, and introduces a bright new voice in fiction.
by Virginia Reeves (US)
From an astonishing new voice, this debut charts the life of Roscoe T Martin, an electrician in 1920s rural Alabama who struggles to overcome past sins, find peace, and rescue his marriage after being sent to prison for manslaughter.
by Elizabeth Strout (US)
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, who she hasn’t spoken to for many years, comes to see her.
by David Szalay (Canada-UK)
Nine men. Each of them at a different stage in life. Each of them away from home. And each of them striving, whether in the suburbs of Prague, in an overdeveloped Alpine village, beside a Belgian motorway or in a dingy Cyprus hotel, to understand what it means to be alive, here and now.
Dark, disturbing and wickedly funny.
by Madeleine Thien (Canada)
Skilled storyteller Madeleine Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations, those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution and their children, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square.
At the centre of this intimate and political epic story are two young women, Marie and Ai-Ming.