The 2006 winner Christopher Brookmyre joins Man Booker-shortlisted Steve Toltz on the shortlist of the tenth Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. Toltz and Brookmyre are up against Geoff Dyer, Lissa Evans, James Hamilton-Paterson and first-time novelist, Sasa Stanisic.
The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction is given to the best comic novel published in the last twelve months, with the winner announced at the Guardian Hay Festival in late May.
The six shortlisted novels are:
A Snowball in Hell by Christopher Brookmyre (Little, Brown)
A viciously dark satire in which a deranged but inventive killer creates his own celebrity talent show where the public vote to keep their favourite celebrities alive.
Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer (Canongate Books)
Two highly imaginative novellas about a couple of 40-something men seeking love and existential meaning, in Venice and Varanasi respectively.
Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans (Transworld/Doubleday)
A heart-warming wartime tale of artistes attempting a morale-boosting low-budget British film.
How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone by Sasa Stanisic (Orion Books/Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
A fresh, poignant and very funny novel about a young child caught up in the Bosnian conflict .
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (Penguin/Hamish Hamilton)
The story of an unconventional father-son relationship and grand adventure, which ranges from the Australian bush to the cafes of Paris, the highs of first love to the lows of failed ambition .
The winner, who joins previous victors including Will Self, Howard Jacobson, Paul Torday, Marina Lewycka and DBC Pierre, will receive a jeroboam of Bollinger Special Cuvée, a case of Bollinger La Grande Année, a set of the Everyman Wodehouse collection and, as is tradition, will have the honour of a locally-bred Gloucestershire Old Spot pig named after the novel in question.
The judges for this year’s prize are broadcaster and author, James Naughtie; Everyman publisher, David Campbell; and Director of the Guardian Hay Festival, Peter Florence.