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40 years of the Booker Prize

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The prestigious Booker Prize is 40 years old, and a panel of literary judges has come up with a shortlist of past Booker prizewinners from which to determine the Booker of Bookers...

Six books have been chosen for the public to vote for their favourite

Salman Rushdie is the favourite to win the Best of the Bookers with 1981's Midnight's Children. The other books are JM Coetzee's Disgrace, JG Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur, Nadine Gordimer's The Conservationist, Pat Barker's The Ghost Road and Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda .



Sun never sets on Booker's six best

http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,2279400,00.html

The shortlist was chosen by biographer Victoria Glendinning, broadcaster Mariella Frostrup and John Mullan, professor of English at the University of London. The public will have the final say: voting for the best book begins today at the Man Booker prize website, in advance of a result to be announced on July 10.






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Winners: What the Guardian reviewers said

1973 - The Siege of Krishnapur
"By the time the comedy of terrors is over and the stinking scarecrow garrison, overcome by a celebratory drink, are observed curiously by the relief force as they keel over, the pet spaniel has become a corpse-eater ... and many fetishes of Victorian enlightment, spiritual and material, have disappeared up the spout ..."

1988 - Oscar and Lucinda
"Gradually, all builds into a novel of extraordinary size, in every sense of the word: yet the method of it is not unlike the way a person might set out to construct a model of the Taj Mahal out of matchsticks, and the general effect of Oscar And Lucinda does indeed have some of the unselfconscious strangeness of folk art."

1974 - The Conservationist
"Nadine Gordimer's well-known obsession with landscape is carried to intensely physical extremes, until the reader must surely feel that his face is being pressed into the dry weedy soil and an insect eye-view imposed."

1995 - The Ghost Road
"The carnal wit of [the narrator's] voice marks out The Ghost Road as an important book. With his divided sexual and class loyalties, he seems a very contemporary figure, yet also a fitting monument to the mounds of historical dead."

1981 - Midnight's Children
"Salman Rushdie's hero is born in 1946 on the stroke of India's independence, one of a group of children all born at the same time and all with strange powers: one is a werewolf, one can walk through polished surfaces, one is a time traveller. He is India, growing, struggling, finally mutated by a figure called The Widow, or Indira or Shiva."

1999 - Disgrace
"The undeniable power and focus in Coetzee's novel lies in its ability to analyse not only two differing forms of disgrace: David's relationship with his student, which was almost rape, and Lucy's sexual humiliation, but two differing forms of penitence."

It's coming yet for a' that, that Man to Man, the world o'er, shall brothers be for a' that. (Robert Burns)

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I'm not normally a great fan of Booker winners, The Ghost Road was OK but best book of 1995?. I think I might check out JG Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur though ,looks interesting.




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its really interesting to see the shortlist and reflect on a book's fortunes ( critical and public) since its Booker winning year.

the complete list of winners is even more fascinating - to see the book as a snapshot of Booker Time and also its place in the literary timeline....and perhaps, fashion?



1969 P H Newby, Something to Answer For (Faber & Faber)

1970 Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member (Eyre & Spottiswoode)

1971 V S Naipaul, In a Free State (Deutsch)

1972 John Berger, G (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

1973 J G Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

1974 Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist (Cape) and Stanley Middleton, Holiday (Hutchinson)

1975 Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust (John Murray)

1976 David Storey, Saville (Cape)

1977 Paul Scott, Staying On (Heinemann)

1978 Iris Murdoch, The Sea, the Sea (Chatto & Windus)

1979 Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore (Collins)

1980 William Golding, Rites of Passage (Faber & Faber)

1981 Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children (Cape)

1982 Thomas Keneally, Schindler’s Ark (Hodder & Stoughton)

1983 J M Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K (Secker & Warburg)

1984 Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac (Cape)

1985 Keri Hulme, The Bone People (Hodder & Stoughton)

1986 Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils (Hutchinson)

1987 Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger (Deutsch)

1988 Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda (Faber & Faber)

1989 Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day (Faber & Faber)

1990 A S Byatt, Possession (Chatto & Windus)

1991 Ben Okri, The Famished Road (Cape)

1992 Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient (Bloomsbury) and Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger (Hamish Hamilton)

1993 Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (Secker & Warburg)

1994 James Kelman, How Late It Was, How Late (Secker & Warburg)

1995 Pat Barker, The Ghost Road (Viking)

1996 Graham Swift, Last Orders (Picador)

1997 Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (Flamingo)

1998 Ian McEwan, Amsterdam (Cape)

1999 J M Coetzee, Disgrace (Secker & Warburg)

2000 Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin (Bloomsbury)

2001 Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang (Faber & Faber)

2002 Yann Martel, The Life of Pi (Canongate)

2003 DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little (Faber & Faber)

2004 Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty (Picador)

2005 John Banville, The Sea (Picador)

2006 Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss (Penguin)

2007 Anne Enright, The Gathering (Cape)





some good pieces here...

Readers offered chance to choose a winner for ‘Best of the Booker’
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article3406102.ece

Why the Booker is highly prized
The winner can expect big sales and longevity
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article580718.ece

Revealed: 30 years of Booker jury bust-ups
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article990828.ece

It's coming yet for a' that, that Man to Man, the world o'er, shall brothers be for a' that. (Robert Burns)

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Read that as well.

1980 William Golding, Rites of Passage (Faber & Faber)

Made an OK TV series if i remeber right.




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I tried to read How Late it was, How Late ( James Kelman)

How Dull it Was, How Dull...oh how I struggled.

It's coming yet for a' that, that Man to Man, the world o'er, shall brothers be for a' that. (Robert Burns)

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And we have a winner!!!!

Midnight's Children

But there seems to be some controversy surrounding how many people who voted for it have actually read it.


Salman Rushdie named best Booker Prize winner of all time
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/07/10/borushdie110.xml



I must admit, I fall into the "tried to read it but gave up half way through" category.

It's coming yet for a' that, that Man to Man, the world o'er, shall brothers be for a' that. (Robert Burns)

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