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Last Updated: Monday, 10 October 2005, 19:25 GMT 20:25 UK
Synopsis of Booker longlist novels
Marina Lewycka
Marina Lewycka was previously nominated for the Orange Prize
Seventeen books were chosen in August as contenders for this year's prestigious Man Booker Prize.

Selected from 109 entries, the longlist features novels by established authors such as Ian McEwan alongside new authors such as Marina Lewycka.

The books move from 1919 Siberia to 21st Century London with tales of mysterious visitors, love, murder and camaraderie.

They were whittled down to a shortlist of six in September.

Here is a brief description of each book on the final shortlist:

John Banville - The Sea
Narrator Max Morden revisits an Irish coastal resort where, as a child, he encountered the Grace family, who mysteriously changed his life.

Julian Barnes
Julian Barnes is hoping for his first Booker
Julian Barnes - Arthur & George
Writer Arthur and solicitor George are brought together by a sequence of sensational events in 19th Century Britain.

Sebastian Barry - A Long Long Way
Camaraderie and humour sustain the Royal Dublin Fusiliers as they are caught up in the events of the Easter Rising in Ireland.

Ali Smith - The Accidental
A family on the brink of crisis has an unexpected visitor during their holiday in the Norfolk countryside.

Zadie Smith - On Beauty
Worlds collide at Wellington College as an English professor's son falls for the daughter of a right-wing icon.

Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go
Kathy, Ruth and Tommy slowly face the truth about their seemingly happy childhoods in the English countryside.

The other books on the original longlist:

Tash Aw - The Harmony Silk Factory
A Malayan mystery set in 1940, it is the story of Johnny Lim, a mysterious figure whose life is described in three different ways by three different narrators.

JM Coetzee - Slow Man
An amputee's feelings for his nurse are complicated by the arrival of a celebrated Australian novelist.

Rachel Cusk - In the Fold
Central character Michael is persuaded to leave his Bath home to help a friend on a remote farm.

Dan Jacobson - All For Love
A fictionalised account of a royal scandal during the decline of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Marina Lewycka - A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
Family tensions as an 84-year-old widower marries a much younger woman, who arrives from his native Ukraine in search of a passport.

Hilary Mantel - Beyond Black
The story of the strained relationship between Alison - a warm, empathetic lady who makes a living from talking to the dead - and her hard-headed assistant Colette.

Ian McEwan - Saturday
Set in inner city London on a single day in 2003, neurosurgeon Henry Perowne is confronted by a menacing stranger.

James Meek - The People's Act of Love
Suspicion and terror engulf Siberia in 1919 when the local Shaman is found dead.

Salman Rushdie - Shalimar the Clown
The story of Maximilian Ophuls, knifed to death in Los Angeles by a mysterious figure who calls himself Shalimar the Clown.

Harry Thompson - This Thing of Darkness
A 19th Century sea-faring adventure charting the life of captain Robert Fitzroy and his passenger Charles Darwin.

William Wall - This Is The Country
An Irish teenage tearaway's life changes forever when he falls in love with the sister of Pat the Baker.

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