Skip to content

Man Booker 2017 Predictions


Our panel collectively read all 13 nominated books and most of us read all, or almost all of the shortlisted books. Over the past several months we have posted our reviews, rankings, and thoughts of all the books. Keep reading to see which book we think will take home the prize tomorrow.

Our collective rankings of all books using our “objective” scorecard ranked Autumn as our top book, only a fraction of a point ahead of Exit West. Below each of our panelists list their pick for Man Booker winner.

Jen’s Prediction: I honestly have no idea which book will win. The last two years, I’ve felt strongly about which book would win. Two years ago, I correctly picked Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings and last year I incorrectly picked Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeline Thien. This year, I am thinking the prize could go to almost any of the books. So, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that my favorite book will win: Autumn by Ali Smith

Book Worm’s Prediction: If I was personally choosing a winner, I would chose Autumn as this was the most beautifully written book on the shortlist. The subject matter was at once relevant to the present and yet also timeless.

Thinking as a judge I am going to predict that Elmet will win. My reasons for thinking this are: 1) the author is a new author; 2) the fact the book got this far means the judges obviously see something in it; and 3) the subject matter is controversial — and we all know the judges have loved controversy in previous years.

Lisa’s Prediction: Exit West. It is beautifully written, and it spans a wide range of human experience from falling and out of love to war, losing one’s home, being a refugee, and searching for a new hom.

Andrew’s PredictionLincoln in the Bardo. Having only read 4 of the 6 finalists, I’m at a bit of a disadvantage. Last year, my gut told me The Sellout would win and I ignored it. This year, my gut is pushing me in the direction of Lincoln in the Bardo.  I realize this is not exactly going out on a limb.  However, the book is so unique and creative (despite what I believe to be serious substantive flaws) that the judges will have a hard time not awarding it the prize. Saunders is also “hot” which shouldn’t play a role, but unfortunately that’s usually how these things work. With that said, “Lincoln in the Bardo” would be a worthy victor.

Nicole’s Prediction: Exit West. I adored this book, thought it timely, relevant, and really well done. The arts provide a forum for those who fight for recognition in a world stacked against them, and I think a Pakistani author writing (brilliantly) about refugees deserves that recognition.

Anita’s Prediction: My prediction is Exit West.  I think Saunders deserves it the most, but I don’t think an American wins back to back years.  Exit West takes a current theme and renders it in a timeless and creative fashion that marks a classic in the making.

So there you have it, a slightly divided panel. The Man Booker winner will be announced tomorrow. Which book do you think will win? Why?

We hope you’ve enjoyed following our panel through the Man Booker season. We look forward to starting it all over again next year!

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jo #

    I’m struggling to choose between Lincoln in the Bardo and Autumn. I didn’t really like Autumn, but I think that it appeals to the judging panel. I much preferred Lincoln in the Bardo, and I think that it’s unusual narrative structure makes it a strong contender.


    October 17, 2017
    • Book Worm #

      Well done Andrew for calling it I am surprised by pleased that Lincoln in the Bardo won it was the most unique book in the list 👍

      Liked by 2 people

      October 17, 2017
  2. Anita #

    Way to go, Andrew!! I guess I should have gone with the book I liked best and not second guessed the judges’ motivations. Really happy with Lincoln in the Bardo as the selection. It was risky, creative, and I think will hold up well over time.


    October 18, 2017

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: