So, who won then?

Well, I noted the announcement of the long-list.. and the resultant short-list of nominees for the 2005 Man Booker prize, including, notably for us, John Banville and Sebastian Barry.. Sinéad has money on Ishiguro, who seems set for the People’s Prize.. and so does the Guardian Culture Vulture’s Sarah Crown.. hedging her bets somewhat after her last prediction *ahem*.. half an hour[ish] to go.. and Barnes still seems like a possibility.. but Barry’s getting a lot of praise.. I’ll update when the result is announced. Update Strike just about all of those comments. The winner of the 2005 Man Booker Prize is John Banville for The Sea. Congratulations!

  • foreign correspondent

    Fair play to John. I so far have only read a non-fiction book of his, the reasonably interesting ´´Prague Pictures´´. This might motivate me to finally tackle one of his novels.

  • Ziznivy

    I’ve yet to read The Sea and having only read The Book Of Evidence before I can’t comment too widely on Banville’s fiction (although he does appear to be a lugubrious wee bugger)!

    I’ve read several of the books from the longlist however, and it seems to me that the finest book was omitted from the shortlist. James Meeks’ ‘People’s Act of Love’ is the closest English Literature has come to its own Russians classic. Magnificent. I found it much preferable to Julian Barnes, Ishiguro’s silly fantasy or indeed Sebastian Barry adding another (admittedly enjoyable) trot through Irish soldiers experiences in the 1st WW.

  • Richard Delevan

    RTE Morning Ireland, in discussion between Aine Lawlor and Eileen Battersby of the Irish Times, recalled that Banville was a journo for decades to support the writing. Thus giving a painful dollop of hope to a thousand mediocre hacks on this island to believe that they, too, can one day write the Great Irish Novel (where’s my agent?) and have their success ratified in…London.

    Bless.

  • smcgiff

    It’s pretty much a British and Irish Competition, Richard.

  • Sinéad

    Oh be still my beating heart.
    That gives me a and a nation of hacks hope. 🙂

    London or Dublin, I wouldn’t care. Just as long as there was no attempt to call me the next Cecilia Ahern. Then I’d have to jump off the pile of ‘to read’ books by my bed and kill myself.

  • foreign correspondent

    A bit off-topic, but just an observation that the only Irish writer whose books I have seen being read on the metro here in Madrid is not Joyce or Banville or Doyle but Marion Keyes.

  • peteb

    According to the Guardian, who should know, the Booker panel were split evenly in support of Banville and Ishiguro.. until the chairman John Sutherland cast his deciding vote for Banville.

  • Alan

    Couldn’t be worse than the Life of Pi. Mind you, I don’t know if his wonderful language can make up for the general absence of ooomph in his narrative.

    I will read it with interest – well done !