Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Place Your Bets!

The odds from William Hill if you fancy a flutter on the literary gee-gees.

Ian Mc Ewan 3/1
Nicola Barker 5/1
Mohsin Hamid 7/1
Catherine O' Flynn 8/1
A N Wilson 9/1
Michael Redhill 10/1
Indra Sinha 10/1
Anne Enright 11/1
Nikita Lalwani 12/1
Lloyd Jones 12/1
Tan Twan Eng 14/1
Edward Docx 14/1
Peter Ho Davies 16/1


Nury Vittachi said...

Sharon, I always enjoy your comments -- I also felt excited when I saw Tan Twan Eng's name on that list. I have put a link to your site on the lastest posting on mine at, warmest wishes -- Nury

Anonymous said...



erm, i havent bought your book tho.


Stewart said...

Without having read any yet, I'm limiting it to Docx or Davies. Jones just loses out because he's won the Commonwealth Writers Prize already. The judges seem to be thinking about what is readable rather than what is good (as per the chair blog on the official site). At least it's a fresh looking list although I would have appreciated Ondaatje's Divisadero being there to give me the kickstart I need to read his work.

bibliobibuli said...

nury - hello mr. jam! lovely to hear from you!

viz - you will in time :-D

stewart - i don't mind readability being factored into the booker equation. too often when i've read long and shortlisted books i've been left thinking "yes, this is damn fine writing, the language is beautiful, the plot clever, the themes big ... but i didn't actually enjoy it too much". then i'm very hesitant to recommend the book to more general readers ...

this is not to say i'd like to see the booker "dumbed down" but reading pleasure should be in there as a criteria! i find it very interesting that too of my favourite contemporary novels vikram seth's "a suitable boy" and louis de bernieres "captain corelli's mandolin" didn't get anywhere near the list.

i am very sad and surprised that ondaatje did not make the longlist and fully expected him to. still i haven't read his book yet and neither have i read 11 books on the longlist so am in no position to judge!

animah said...

Suggestion - why don't we all pick a book each (except Tan's and Ian's cos you've reviewed those), read the book then post a mini review on your blog with the conclusion as to whether it should or should not win the Booker.

Matthew da Silva said...

Seth's book was very good when I read it, but it's probably a bit long for your average judge intent of consuming as many titles in as short a time as possible.

I liked the monkey...

My original purpose in commenting was to say how silly betting on prizes is: like taking a picture of a violinist and judging his or her performance on the cut of the clothes.

Remember that Tolstoy lost the Nobel to a writer we will never bother to even try to remeber.

bibliobibuli said...

animah - it si quite another question whether you can get them or not. i think only kino will have them at the moment and then probably only one or two copies. amazon would be a better bet. i want to read "mister pip".

bibliobibuli said...

'tis silly matthew, but it's fun silly. and going on last year's form it's better to bet on the outsiders!

Anonymous said...

What is it with Great Expectations that Australian/NZ writers keep retelling parts of that story? There was Peter Carey's Jack Maggs, and now Mr. Pip (which I haven't read, but it sounds intriguing).

Have to agree, though, with Matthew above that betting is particularly silly in this case -- it's fun to speculate, but silly :-) . What are these odds based on, does anyone know? I'm guessing they're not based primarily -- or even at all -- on the quality of the writing. I'd put Peter Ho Davies quite a bit higher up that list because the book is thematically very relevant to some huge, important questions the world faces today (I expect that's a large part of why Mohsin Hamid's book is so far up the list, for example).

Anyway. Even though the media is describing this list as "low key," I think there'll be some tough competition there.

- Preeta

bibliobibuli said...

i don't know how they decide ... but the odds change as people bet. last year the bookies made a lot of money because an outsider won!!

i never predict the winner right.

but it's fun to buy the books and try to read as many as possible.

re "mister pi" the very same thought ran through my mind, preeta

Matthew da Silva said...

Dickens was an advocate for reform. This is important to liberals (as writers almost invariably are).

Remember also that Carey was making an explicit (possibly overly-explicit) point about Australian history and identity. 160,000 men and women were sent here to serve time for crimes committed in Britain. It didn't stop until about 1850: 60 years of punishment by transportation.

Kiwis can return now...

If you read Dickens now you get the tug and the passion still. I don't rate him as high as, say, Rimbaud, but he's very much still relevant.

Stuff he thought important may even be relevant in, say, Malaysia....?