Booker Prize Tonight

According to London’s bookies, the front runner for the Man Booker prize, to be announced at 10 p.m., London time, is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Judging by the number of holds and copies in American libraries, the front runner on this side of the ocean is The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters

Wolf Hall isn’t scheduled for publication in the U.S. until next week. Janet Maslin rushed the first US consumer review into the NYT yesterday (it received high praise in all four prepub journals; Library Journal declared, “There will be few novels this year as good as this one.”)

Although Maslin praises the book, she admits,

This witty, densely populated book may experience a rough passage when it crosses the Atlantic. For readers not fully versed in the nuances of England’s tangled royal bloodlines, not amused by Ms. Mantel’s deliberate obliqueness…Wolf Hall has its share of stumbling blocks.

Wolf Hall: A Novel
Hilary Mantel
Retail Price: $27.00
Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. – (2009-10-13)
ISBN / EAN: 0805080686 / 9780805080681

Downloadable eBook from OverDrive available next week.

Nonetheless, the book rose to #134 on Amazon, outstripping the other titles on the short list.

The front runner for American readers, as shown by the number of holds and copies in four large libraries, is The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters.

The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters — 426 on 206 copies
The Children’s Book, A.S. Byatt — 346 on 78 copies
Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel — 194 on 43 copies (on order)
Summertime, J.M. Coetzee — 44 on 51 copies (on order)

The other two titles on the Booker short list will not be released in the U.S. for several months.

The Glass Room
Simon Mawer
Paperback: $14.95
Publisher: Other Press – (2009-12-08)
ISBN / EAN: 1590513967 / 9781590513965

The Quickening Maze: A Novel
Adam Foulds
Retail Price: $15.00
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) – (2010-06-29)
ISBN / EAN: 0143117793 / 9780143117797

Downloadable eBook currently available on OverDrive [UPDATE: it is only available to UK libraries at this point]

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