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July, 2011:

Man Booker Prize Longlist 2011

Man Booker Prize Judges 2011

Man Booker Judges 2011

On July 26th the long list for the 2011 Man Booker prize was revealed. For me this is always one of the most important events in the literary calendar. Although I don’t tend to slavishly read the entire list, it does usually form a sizeable part of my reading list for the forthcoming twelve months, so I always await the announcement with a growing sense of anticipation.

A total of 138 books, 7 of which were called in by the judges, were considered for the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ longlist of 13 books. The five judges – Dame Stella Rimington, Matthew d’Ancona, Susan Hill, Chris Mullin and Gaby Wood will review the entries before the short list is announced on Sept 6th.

Read on to see the full 2011 Man Booker Longlist


Mozart’s Last Aria by Matt Rees

Mozart's Last Aria by Matt ReesMatt Rees is undoubtedly best known for the series of crime novels set in the Middle East featuring his fictional creation Omar Yussef. Rees gathered the ideas and inspiration for the Omar Yussef series whilst working as a foreign correspondent in the region, but it was during a sabbatical away from the danger and violence, in the more tranquil surroundings of Austria, that the idea for Mozart’s Last Aria started to take shape.

Good historical fiction, whether crime based or otherwise, takes a serious amount of research and it appears that Mozart’s Last Aria is no exception in this respect. So after all that hard work, has the author provided us with a symphony or a jangling dischord?

Read on for a full review…