Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Best of the Booker

The Best of the Booker award, which was launched t'other day, "will honour the best overall novel to have won the prize since it was first awarded on 22 April 1969". So, who's up for reading all 41 winners?

Just kidding. I'd rather take a job in a Chinese coal mine that subject myself to that.

The web site claims the award is a "one-off", but seeing as they've already had the "Booker of Bookers" in 1993 it seems unlikely that this is the final super-Booker award we'll see. The bright idea with this one is that a panel of judges will select a shortlist of six novels from which the public - jebus, not them! - will select a winner. Fortunately Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubbard are ineligible.

Reading the longlist, should anyone care to do it, might be an expensive process. Copies of the inaugural Booker winner, P.H. Newby's Something to Answer For, are selling on abebooks for upwards of sixty bleedin' pounds! However I'm sure that the panel of experts will manage to come up with a shortlist comprising six titles that are readily available - you know, for the good of the democratic process.

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