The Rest of the Booker Shortlist

So far, four of the six titles on the Booker shortlist are available in the US. The other two are on their way, but will not be available in time for Americans to read them before the prizes are announced on Oct. 12.

Tom McCarthy’s C is now in the lead in UK betting. Shortly after the longlist was announced, Peter Carey, who has won the prize twice, was the leader for Parrot and Olivier in America.

Current odds at UK book maker William Hill are:

2/1  Tom McCarthy – C
3/1  Emma Donoghue – Room
3/1  Damon Galgut – In a Strange Room
5/1  Peter Carey – Parrot and Olivier in America
7/1  Andrea Levy – The Long Song
8/1  Howard Jacobson – The Finkler Question

At least one UK critic feels that, despite having the lowest odds, The Finkler Question should win. The book will be published here on the day of the Booker announcement. Author Howard Jacobson, often called the “British Philip Roth,” is recently quoted in The Jewish Week (“Can Howard Jacobson Play In America?“), saying this comparison no longer makes sense, “Roth has essentially stopped being funny…He is perfectly within his rights to have stopped being funny … but [life’s] never too serious to laugh.”

Not yet reviewed here, the UK reviews have been strong:

Telegraph, 6/28/10; “Humour, insight and chutzpah pepper this fictional foray into what it means to be Jewish”

Guardian, 8/15/10; “In this dazzling novel, Howard Jacobson uses Jewishness as a way in to universal questions about life and society.”

The Independent, 8/1/10; “Jacobson’s prose is a seamless roll of blissfully melancholic interludes. Almost every page has a quotable, memorable line.”

The Times of London, 7/24/10; “How is it possible to read Howard Jacobson and not lose oneself in admiration for the music of his language, the power of his characterisation and the penetration of his insight? … The Finkler Question is further proof, if any was needed, of Jacobson’s mastery of humour.”

The Finkler Question
Howard Jacobson
Retail Price: $15.00
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA – (2010-10-12)
ISBN / EAN: 1608196119 / 9781608196111


Now in a tie for second place in betting with Emma Donoghue’s Room, South African Damon Galgut’s In a Strange Room, won’t be published here until Nov. 2,  after the prize is announced.

This is the story of a young traveler, who, not knowing what he is seeking, follows various people he meets along the way. It has also received stellar reviews in the U.K.

Guardian, 6/22/10, Jan Morris, ‘Truly superlative… Extraordinarily readable… Galgut displays his wonderful sense of place, but also profoundly explores intimate relationships between people… A very beautiful book, strikingly conceived and hauntingly written, a writer’s novel par excellence without a clumsy word in it.”

Telegraph, 5/3/10; “…as inviting as it is troubling.”

In a Strange Room
Damon Galgut
Retail Price: $15.00
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Europa Editions – (2010-11-02)
ISBN / EAN: 1609450116 / 9781609450113

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