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The Man Booker Prize 2017

The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is arguably the world's most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers. Download a great listen from the annual showcase of the very best in global fiction.

2015 Shortlist Nominees

  • The Fishermen
    by Chigozie Obioma
    Narrated by Chukwudi Iwuji
    3.80 (10 ratings)

    Told from the point of view of nine-year-old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria. When their father has to work away, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the forbidden nearby river they encounter a madman, who predicts that one of the brothers will kill another. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact will transcend the lives and imaginations of both its characters and its readers.

  • Satin Island
    by Tom McCarthy
    Narrated by James Garnon
    3.80 (6 ratings)
    Meet U. - a talented and uneasy figure currently pimping his skills to an elite consultancy in contemporary London. His employers advise everyone from big businesses to governments, and, to this end, expect their 'corporate anthropologist' to help decode and manipulate the world around them - all the more so now that a giant, epoch-defining project is in the offing.
  • A Spool of Blue Thread
    by Anne Tyler
    Narrated by Kimberly Farr
    3.90 (53 ratings)
    "It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…" This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that day in July 1959. The whole family on the porch, relaxed, half listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before. Yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home.
  • The Year of the Runaways
    by Sunjeev Sahota
    Narrated by Sartaj Garewal
    3.90 (14 ratings)
    The Year of the Runaways tells of the bold dreams and daily struggles of an unlikely family thrown together by circumstance. Thirteen young men live in a house in Sheffield, each in flight from India and in search of a new life. Avtar has a secret that binds him to protect the choatic Randeep. Randeep has a visa wife in a flat on the other side of town. And Tarlochan, a former rickshaw driver, will say nothing about his past in Bihar.
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  • A Little Life
    by Hanya Yanagihara
    Narrated by Oliver Wyman
    4.50 (382 ratings)
    Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance. When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success and pride.
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings
    by Marlon James
    Narrated by Robertson Dean, Cherise Boothe, Dwight Bacquie, Ryan Anderson, Jonathan McClain, Robert Younis, Thom Rivera
    4.10 (74 ratings)
    On 3 December 1976, just weeks before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions, seven gunmen from West Kingston stormed his house. Marley survived and went on to perform at the free concert. Not a lot was recorded about the fate of the seven gunmen, but much has been said, whispered and sung about in the streets of West Kingston.

2014 Shortlist Nominees

  • J
    by Howard Jacobson
    Narrated by Colin Mace, Adjoa Andoh
    3.50 (2 ratings)
    Two people fall in love. Kevern doesn't know why his father always drew two fingers across his lips when he said a world starting with a J. Ailinn too has grown up in the dark about where she came from. On their first date Kevern kisses the bruises under her eyes. He doesn't ask who hurt her. Hanging over the lives of everyone is a past event shrouded in suspicion, now referred to as What Happened, If It Happened.
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North
    by Richard Flanagan
    Narrated by Richard Flanagan
    4.10 (181 ratings)
    August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever. This savagely beautiful novel is a story about the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
    by Karen Joy Fowler
    Narrated by Katharine Mangold
    4.10 (145 ratings)
    Rosemary's started college, and she's decided not to tell anyone about her family. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. There was something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. You'll have to find out for yourself what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other.
  • History of the Rain
    by Niall Williams
    Narrated by Jennifer McGrath
    4.00 (7 ratings)
    We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. In Faha, County Clare, everyone is a long story...Bedbound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, Plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father. To find him Ruthie must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces, and gleamy skin of the Swains from the restless Reverend Swain, her great-grandfather, to her father.
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  • The Blazing World
    by Siri Hustvedt
    Narrated by Eric Myers, Patricia Rodriguez
    4.30 (4 ratings)
    Artist Harriet Burden, consumed by fury at the lack of recognition she has received from the New York art establishment, embarks on an experiment: she hides her identity behind three male fronts who exhibit her work as their own. And yet, even after she has unmasked herself, there are those who refuse to believe she is the woman behind the men.
  • The Bone Clocks
    by David Mitchell
    Narrated by Jessica Ball, Leon Williams, Colin Mace, Steven Crossley, Laurel Lefkow, Anna Bentinck
    4.20 (110 ratings)
    One summer's day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for 'asylum'. Decades will pass before Holly understands what sort of asylum the woman was seeking.… The Bone Clocks follows Holly's life: not so far out of the ordinary, yet punctuated by flashes of precognition, visits from people who emerge from thin air, and brief lapses in the laws of reality.
  • Us
    by David Nicholls
    Narrated by Justin Salinger
    3.90 (44 ratings)
    Douglas Petersen’s family is on the brink of dissolution. His marriage of twenty-one years to Connie is almost over. When autumn comes around, their son Albie will leave for college. Connie has decided to leave soon after. But before everything falls apart, there's still the summer holidays to get through - a Grand Tour of Europe's major cities - and over the course of the journey, Douglas devises a plan to win back the love of his wife and repair his troubled relationship with his son.

2013 Shortlist Nominees

  • The Luminaries
    by Eleanor Catton
    Narrated by Mark Meadows
    4.10 (222 ratings)
    It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.
  • A Tale for the Time Being
    by Ruth Ozeki
    Narrated by Ruth Ozeki
    4.30 (34 ratings)
    Ruth discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore of her beach home. Within it lies a diary that expresses the hopes and dreams of a young girl. She suspects it might have arrived on a drift of debris from the 2011 tsunami. With every turn of the page, she is sucked deeper into an enchanting mystery. In a small cafe in Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao Yasutani is navigating the challenges thrown up by modern life. In the face of cyber-bullying, the mysteries of a 104-year-old Buddhist nun and great-grandmother, and the joy and heartbreak of family, Nao is trying to find her own place - and voice - through a diary.
  • We Need New Names
    by NoViolet Bulawayo
    Narrated by Robin Miles
    3.30 (6 ratings)
    'To play the country-game, we have to choose a country. Everybody wants to be the USA and Britain and Canada and Australia and Switzerland and them. Nobody wants to be rags of countries like Congo, like Somalia, like Iraq, like Sudan, like Haiti and not even this one we live in – who wants to be a terrible place of hunger and things falling apart?' Darling and her friends live in a shanty called Paradise, which of course is no such thing. It isn’t all bad, though. There’s mischief and adventure, games of Find bin Laden, stealing guavas, singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voices.
  • Harvest
    by Jim Crace
    Narrated by John Keating
    2.50 (4 ratings)
    As late summer steals in and the final pearls of barley are gleaned, a village comes under threat. Over the course of seven days, Walter Thirsk sees his hamlet unmade: the manor house set on fire, the harvest blackened, three new arrivals punished, and his neighbours accused of witchcraft. But something even darker is at the heart of his story, and he will be the only man left to tell it…
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  • The Lowland
    by Jhumpa Lahiri
    Narrated by Sunil Malhotra
    3.90 (7 ratings)
    Born just 15 months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan - charismatic and impulsive - finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.

2012 Winner and Shortlist Nominees

  • Bring Up the Bodies
    by Hilary Mantel
    Narrated by Simon Vance
    Not rated yet
    By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. In Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn.
  • Umbrella
    by Will Self
    Narrated by Mike Grady
    Not rated yet
    Could modernity be an illness? Umbrella follows the story of Audrey Dearth, who fell victim to the encephalitis lethargic sleeping sickness epidemic at the end of the First World War and has been in a coma ever since. Arriving at the asylum she still lingers in, maverick psychiatrist Zack Busner becomes involved in an attempt to bring her back to life - with wholly unforeseen consequences.
  • The Lighthouse
    by Alison Moore
    Narrated by Eve Karpf
    Not rated yet
    The Lighthouse begins on a North Sea ferry, on the blustery outer deck of which stands Futh: a middle-aged, recently-separated man heading to Germany for a restorative walking holiday. After an encounter with an inexplicably hostile barman at a family-run hotel in Hellhaus, Futh sets out on his week-long circular walk along the Rhine. As he travels, he contemplates his childhood, a complicated friendship with the son of a lonely neighbour, his parents’ broken marriage and his own.
  • Narcopolis
    by Jeet Thayil
    Narrated by Robertson Dean
    Not rated yet
    Shuklaji Street, in Old Bombay: In Rashid's opium room a young woman holds a long-stemmed pipe over a flame as men sprawl and mutter in the gloom. In Shuklaji Street they say you introduce only your worst enemy to opium. But then whispers build of a new terror, something that shifts the tenuous balance of survival for the city's nameless, invisible poor. A rich, hallucinatory dream of a novel, Narcopolis captures the Bombay of the 1970s in all its compelling squalor. With a cast of pimps, pushers, poets, and gangsters, it is a lyrical and unforgettable journey into a sprawling underworld.
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  • Swimming Home
    by Deborah Levy
    Narrated by Juliet Aubrey
    Not rated yet
    As he arrives with his family at the villa in the hills above Nice, Joe sees a body in the swimming pool. But the girl is very much alive. She is Kitty Finch: a self-proclaimed botanist with green-painted fingernails, walking naked out of the water and into their holiday. Why is she there? What does she want from them? And why does Joe’s wife allow her to remain?
  • The Garden of Evening Mists
    by Tan Twan Eng
    Narrated by Anna Bentinck
    Not rated yet
    Malaya, 1949. After a career spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, - herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp - seeks solace among the jungle fringed plantations of Northern Malaya. There she meets the enigmatic Aritomo, an exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan. Yun Ling asks Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister. But the jungle holds secrets of its own…

2011 Winner and Nominees

  • The Sense of an Ending
    by Julian Barnes
    Narrated by Richard Morant
    4.10 (69 ratings)
    Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour, and wit. Maybe Adrian was more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is retired.
  • Pigeon English
    by Stephen Kelman
    Narrated by Bahni Turpin
    4.00 (1 ratings)
    Lying in front of Harrison Opuku is a body, the body of one of his classmates, a boy known for his crazy basketball skills. Armed with a pair of camouflage binoculars and detective techniques absorbed from television shows like CSI, Harri and his best friend, Dean, plot to bring the perpetrator to justice. They gather evidence and lay traps to flush out the murderer. But nothing can prepare them for what happens when a criminal feels you closing in on him.
  • The Sisters Brothers
    by Patrick deWitt
    Narrated by William Hope
    4.60 (20 ratings)
    Oregon, 1851. Eli and Charlie Sisters, notorious professional killers, are on their way to California to kill a man named Hermann Kermit Warm. On the way, the brothers have a series of unsettling experiences in the landscape of Gold Rush America. And they bicker a lot. Arriving in California, and discover that Warm has invented a magical formula, which could make all of them very rich. What happens next is utterly gripping, strange and sad....
  • Jamrach's Menagerie
    by Carol Birch
    Narrated by Dave John
    4.20 (5 ratings)
    Jaffy Brown is running along a street in London's East End when he comes face to face with an escaped circus animal. Rescued by Mr Jamrach - explorer, entrepreneur and collector of the world's strangest creatures - the two strike up a friendship. Before he knows it, Jaffy finds himself on board a ship bound for the Dutch East Indies. His journey will push faith, love and friendship to their utmost limits. Carol Birch's epic novel brings alive the smells, sights and flavours of the nineteenth century, from the docks of London to the storms of the Indian Ocean: a gripping exploration of our relationship to the natural world....
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  • Half Blood Blues
    by Esi Edugyan
    Narrated by Kyle Riley
    3.00 (1 ratings)
    The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymous Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, was arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black. Fifty years later Sid, Hiero's bandmate and the only witness that day, travels to Berlin, bringing to the surface secrets buried since Hiero's fate was settled.
  • Snowdrops
    by A. D. Miller
    Narrated by Kevin Howarth
    5.00 (1 ratings)
    A riveting psychological drama that unfolds over the course of one Moscow winter, as a thirty-something Englishman’s moral compass is spun by the seductive opportunities revealed to him by a new Russia: a land of hedonism and desperation, corruption and kindness, magical dachas and debauched nightclubs: a place where secrets - and corpses - come to light only when the deep snows start to thaw...