This evening, the winner for the 2011 Man Booker Prize was announced:

  • The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes

It has been a troubled year for the Man Booker Prize. When awarding the Man Booker International Prize to Philip Roth, judge Carmen Callil resigned. It seemed the only folks who showed up for the Best of Beryl Bainbridge Prize (the now annual off-shoot to the main award) were the crickets. Jonathan Talor, Chair of the Booker Foundation, claimed the Man Booker International Prize — which has had only four winners, all but one of whom writes in English — was now the world’s premier literary prize and superior to the Nobel Prize. Then the judges of the real Booker Prize got criticized to no end (I was not on their side) for choosing “readable” books that “zip along.” Well, the most “literary” (whatever that means) title won. I’m looking forward to reading The Sense of an Ending. Barnes has been shortlisted three times before, and his winning this year was far from a foregone conclusion though many thought it the best book on the shortlist. Will this put a stop to the criticism?


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By | 2016-07-08T17:32:55+00:00 October 18th, 2011|Categories: News|7 Comments


  1. Trevor October 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Since I haven’t read the book yet, perhaps you’d like to read a couple of reviews from people who did:

    John Self’s Asylum: Click here

    KFC: Click here

  2. Kevin J MacLellan October 18, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Hi Mookse,
    Thanks for the update: now I will know where to begin! As you noted earlier, many of these books are not yet available in the States, but soon they – or the best of them – will be. Then laggards likde me will will play catch-up.

  3. Lee Monks October 19, 2011 at 5:08 am

    It’s a brilliant piece of work – some reviewers have griped about the kind of issues that suggest they just didn’t get it, and never will – that thoroughly deserves it. I’m guessing you’ll like it, Trevor, look forward to the review.

  4. Scott W. October 19, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    What? Nobody showed up for the Beryl Bainbridge prize announcement? Shameful. She’s so great. I just hit a goldmine of her books at a book sale last month, and am working my way through them with awe and horror and delight. And kudos to Julian Barnes; I greatly appreciated his compliments to the designer (designers almost always get short shrift) in defending physical books vs. ebooks.

  5. Trevor October 19, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Kjml, I think all but the Edugyan are available here now, and it will come in February. Which are you considering?

    Lee, I have it now and hope to get it read soon!

    Scott W. I haven’t read Bainbridge, though the gimmicky prize did remind me I probably should. Any you recommend off the top?

  6. Max Cairnduff October 20, 2011 at 8:11 am


    Guy over at His Futile Preoccupations has reviewed some Bainbridge and discussed which are best to start with. I plan to go with The Bottle Factory Outing.

  7. Scott W. October 20, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Trevor – I’m still only on my third book of hers, but so far, I’d go with The Bottle Factory Outing too.

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