I just finished reading all but one and a half of the thirteen books on the 2008 longlist (didn't finish The Northern Clemency and didn't start Girl in a Blue Dress.
It wasn't a good year in my opinion. Here is my ranking of the books. If you click on them, you can get my full review with comments from other readers.
1. Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill
2. The Clothes on Their Backs, by Linda Grant
3. A Fraction of the Whole, by Steve Toltz
4. Sea of Poppies, by Amitav Ghosh
5. From A to X, by John Berger
6. The Secret Scripture, by Sebastian Barry
7. The Lost Dog, by Michelle de Kretser
8. The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga
9. A Case of Exploding Mangoes, by Mohammed Hanif
10. The Enchantress of Florence, by Salman Rushdie
11. The Northern Clemency, by Philip Hensher
12. Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith
While I liked aspects of almost all of the books, only the top three were enjoyable to read throughout. And I'm not sure they were particularly strong or not. Still, it's a great prize, and I look forward to seeing which one of the luck books takes it away this year!