Thursday, September 11, 2008

Odds Now on White Tiger

Some first reactions to the Booker shortlist.

John Sutherland in the Guardian calls it :
... the least metropolitan, least up-to-the-minute, shortlist I can recall.
Julie Bosman in the New York Times focuses on those who didn't make the final list :
“Netherland,” by Joseph O’Neill, a novel set in post-9/11 New York that was a best seller and a critical darling, was omitted from the finalists. “The Lost Dog” by Michelle de Kretser, another favorite from the 13 books on the previously released Booker longlist, also did not make the cut. ... More surprising, “The Enchantress of Florence” by Salman Rushdie was not chosen as a finalist, both startling and delighting British critics and subsequently prompting the Booker judges to explain why Mr. Rushdie had been snubbed.
The bookmakers have apparently been thrown into disarray. Said spokesman Graham Sharpe :
We were convinced that the winner would be either Joseph O'Neill or Salman Rushdie and are amazed that neither even made the shortlist. As a result it looks like a very open competition with everyone in with a chance.
The revised odds are :
2/1 Sebastian Barry - The Secret Scripture
3/1 Linda Grant - The Clothes on Their Backs
3/1 Steve Toltz - A Fraction of the Whole
6/1 Amitav Ghosh - Sea of Poppies
8/1 Philip Hensher - The Northern Clemency
8/1 Aravind Adiga - The White Tiger
If you haven't time to read all the books, Jim Crace does a sterling job of giving you the condensed versions.


Janet said...

I quite agree with the odds! Only had a quick look at four authors' books--Barry, Grant, Adiga and Ghosh. Must say I prefer Barry out of the four books I had a quick glance at. Initially thought Grant would trump Barry but changed my mind after comparing the two.

Anonymous said...

These seem to all be great choices (I haven't had the chance to look at the Toltz yet but it sounds wonderful). I'm sad, though, that Netherland didn't make the cut. I was pretty sure it would win!

Sharon, re: the title of this post, I think you meant to say the odds are on The Secret Scripture? All this betting is a bit ridiculous but I guess people like a bit of a flutter.

-- Preeta

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed both The Secret Scripture and Netherland and would be happy to awrd the prize to Sebastian Barry.

Fallen Angel