Broken Spine #16

Today, there’s no Recommended Reading. Instead this week’s Broken Spine is all a big countdown to the announcement of the Man Booker Prize winner.

Man Booker Prize 2009

Booker Judges & Books

Shortlist

AS Byatt – The Children’s Book
JM Coetzee – Summertime
Adam Foulds – The Quickening Maze
Hilary Mantel – Wolf Hall
Simon Mawer – The Glass Room
Sarah Waters – The Little Stranger

Digested Reads
The Guardian newspaper which includes a digested read every week in its G2 supplement (check out the recent Dan Brown one – hilarious), has brilliantly summarised and put down each of the six nominees. This is worth reading, and is highly entertaining even if you haven’t read any of the six shortlisted books. Read the brilliant piece here.

Latest Odds

From the Online Betting Guide:

11/10f – Hilary Mantel
4/1 – Simon Mawer
6/1 – JM Coetzee, Sarah Waters
9/1 – AS Byatt
12/1 – Adam Foulds

Confessions of a Booker Judge

Booker Prize judge, and literary editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Michael Prodger has given an account of his time on the awarding panel.  (He’s the one holding the Coetzee in the picture above.) Although it may sound like a handy position to have, it seems it’s very laborious work, and all but ruins the whole pasttime of reading for pleasure. Read the full interview here. The Guardian has also interviewed a judge from every year of the past 40 (this is the 41st year of the Prize), which includes this year’s favourite Hilary Mantel. Check that out here.

The Not the Booker Prize

The Not the Booker Prize isn’t the Razzies to the Oscars, but more like the Golden Globes. It’s an award selected by journalists, critics, authors, etc. and run (again) by the Guardian. The winner was announced earlier today at a ceremony in London. Read about it here, as well as finding out the winner. I won’t spoil it on you.

The Dumbing Down of the Booker Prize

Janice Harayda talks about how the prize has been dumbed down in recent years, and analyses the reading level of some former winners here. Makes for interesting reading, and hopefully she will update it to reflect this year’s eventual winner. It’ll also make those of you afraid to read some flighty highbrow literary works more inclined to do so!

And the Winner is…

UPDATE: The winner is Hillary Mantel, the bookies favourite, becoming the first ever favourite to win the Booker. Her book has already sold 50,000 copies, but expect that figure to increase tenfold in the coming weeks.

About Ronan

Music blogger turned book/TV blogger. Avid follower of the Irish soccer team.

One Response to Broken Spine #16

  1. Hi, Ronan,
    Did you know that Ladbrokes (www.ladbrokes.com) has ranked John Banville’s chances for the Nobel Prize in literature (to be announced 11 a.m. GMT on Thursday, October 8)? Banville has received 100-1 odds — not bad given that many world-class writers didn’t get ranked at all. But his odds are lower than the somewhat bizarre 25-1 odds for Bob Dyan to win. Are all the casinos playing “Mr. Tambourine Man” in the elevators?

    The rankings may have changed by the time you see this, but you can easily check by going to the Ladbrokes site and clicking on “Swedish Specials,” where you will note that the ranked Americans include Cormac McCarthy.

    A thousand thanks for your kindness in noticing my post and, yes, I’d love to check Hilary Mantel’s reading level!
    Jan Harayda