Friday, October 24, 2008

Who came runner-up in the Booker prize?
Guardian blogger Alison Flood
thinks she knows.............

We had to wait 40 years to learn that the choice of PH Newby's Something to Answer For as the first ever Booker winner was a compromise, but only just over a week to get Michael Portillo's take on judging this year's prize.
Blogging on the prize's website, Portillo has revealed that although the judges made it through the process without "blood on the floor", they were far from unanimous. Sebastian Barry "is entitled to be disappointed", he says, calling The Secret Scripture "the most beautiful book" on the shortlist, "a glorious piece of writing with not a word misplaced".
It was painful to all the judges that it didn't win, he says, and it eventually lost out to Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger "because there were more questions about Barry's plot. Had every part of it been convincingly told? Was its denouement plausible? Adiga won out too because his angle seemed so fresh, writing about India from the viewpoint of a village boy who makes his way to the city where he and his master are corrupted."
For those who like to rank things (I do), Steve Toltz's A Fraction of the Whole came in third (and also prompted tears from the male members of the judging panel during discussions).
Do we think there's a book in unpicking the Booker judging process? My Year as a Booker Judge... One can only hope.
Posted by Alison Flood Thursday October 23 2008 13.00 BST
Alison-Bookman Beattie thinks there is a book in there. Perhaps we could both be Booker judges and then collaborate on the book? Perhaps the subject could be widened to incorporate book prizes generally, looking at the openess or otherwise of the judging processes, power of the Chairpersons, selection of judges and so on? I'm a starter! Give me a call.

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