Booker Prize Shortlist Announced, Along with Bookie’s Odds

by |
09/07/2010 1:56 PM |

Every year, the Booker Prize winner receives an unlimited supply of stickers to affix on the cover of his or her book. Also, ca$h money.
  • Every year, the Booker Prize winner receives an unlimited supply of stickers to affix on the cover of his or her book. Also, ca$h money.

When announced, this year’s longlist for England’s Man Booker Prize made some headlines for the omission of Martin Amis’s The Pregnant Widow and Ian McEwan’s Solar; the six-title shortlist, recently announced, leaves off David Mitchell’s Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. So who’s left? Well, nothing we’ve reviewed at The L, funnily enough.

This year’s Booker Prize shortlist: The perpetually moderately beloved two-time winner Peter Carey’s Parrot and Olivier in America; the dull Damon Galgut’s In a Strange Room; Remainder author and cult hero Tom McCarthy, for his new C (which we will be reviewing this fall); the Irish-Canadian Emma Donoghue, for Room, “the story of a boy and his mother imprisoned in a tiny room for years”; The Long Song, by Andrea Levy, “about the last years of slavery in Jamaica”; and The Finkler Question, by Howard Jacobson, “a cerebral comedy about grief and Anglo-Jewishness”.

The English bookkeeper William Hill has installed the hip McCarthy as the 2/1 favorite for the prize. Donoghue and Galgut are both 3/1 (with William Hill reporting that someone’s already placed four hundred quid on Galgut, “the largest single bet on the prize ‘for a few years'”). Carey’s at 5/1, Levy’s at 7/1 and Jacobson’s at 8/1. The opportunity for gambling is, as ever, an ingenious way of keeping literary fiction at the forefront of the public consciousness.