Barnes Wins Booker

After being short-listed four times, Julian Barnes has finally won the Booker Prize, an honor he once dismissed as “posh bingo,” for The Sense of an Ending. The news sent the book to #8 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Originally scheduled for publication in January, the book was recently moved up to the beginning of October.

Earlier this year, the head of the judging committee, spy novelist Stella Rimington, said  she wanted people “to buy [the titles on the shortlist] and read them, not buy them and admire them,” setting off a round of controversy and launching a new, competing prize, pointedly named the Literature Prize.

Even so, The Sense of an Ending leans more towards “Literature” than towards what is commonly considered “readable.” Michiko Kakutani, reviewing it in the New York Times found it, “…dense with philosophical ideas and more clever than emotionally satisfying. Still, it manages to create genuine suspense as a sort of psychological detective story” and the San Francisco Chronicle said, “At 163 pages, Julian Barnes’ latest novel…is the longest book I have ever read,” although it invites and rewards rereading.

Other U.S reviews:

Entertainment Weekly, by Stephan Lee (Oct. 11, 2011)

Washington Post, by Jeff Turrentine (Oct. 11, 2011)

Cleveland Plain Dealer, by John Freeman (Oct. 13, 2011)

Wall Street Journal, by Sam Sacks (Oct. 17, 2011)

The Sense of an Ending
Julian Barnes
Retail Price: $23.95
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2011-10-05)
ISBN / EAN: 0307957128 / 9780307957122

One Response to “Barnes Wins Booker”

  1. Beth Says:

    A 163-page book is the longest book the San Francisco Chronicle reviewer has ever read? I’m not sure I can even trust what he/she has to say!