Friday 15 October 2010

Man Booker Prize Winner 2010 - The Finkler Question

The Finkler QuestionHoward Jacobson has been named the winner of the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Finkler Question, published by Bloomsbury. Jacobson has been longlisted twice for the prize, in 2006 for Kalooki Nights and in 2002 for Who's Sorry Now, but has never before been shortlisted. The Finkler Question is a novel about love, loss and male friendship, and explores what it means to be Jewish today. Andrew Motion, chair of the judges, commented “The Finkler Question is a marvellous book: very funny, of course, but also very clever, very sad and very subtle. It is all that it seems to be and much more than it seems to be. A completely worthy winner of this great prize”. Over and above his prize of £50,000, Howard Jacobson can expect a huge increase in sales and recognition worldwide. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel which won the Man Booker Prize 2009 has now sold over half a million copies in the UK alone. Sales of the books longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize have been stronger than ever before, with sales over 45% higher than last year.

Irish hopes rested on Emma Donoghue’s novel Room which was shortlisted and was joint favourite to win with Tom McCarthy’s C. Room, based on the Fritzl case, is told from the perspective of a five year old held captive with his mother in a garden shed. It is a brilliant portrayal of the psyche of a child raised in captivity and a celebration of the resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child. Betting on the Man Booker prize was suspended by Ladbrokes bookmakers after an "unprecedented" flurry of bets on Tom McCarthy’s book, C. Ladbrokes said that many were placed by figures linked to the literary world, setting alarm bells ringing and prompting them to close their books. Paddy Power bookmaker also noted an increase in betting for C. A spokeswoman said: "Up until the beginning of the week, there had been equal interest between McCarthy and Donoghue. But bets for Donoghue dried up while customers with a good strike rate, those who we might watch above others, have suddenly been placing money on McCarthy". But the bookmakers worry about a leak from the judging panel were unfounded as McCarthy’s novel failed to win the prize. C centres on Serge Carrefax, whose birth at the time of wireless radio during the First World War finds the ramifications and possibilities of the new method of communication dominating his whole life.

The Man Booker Prize App is free to download from the App Store to an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch and is the UK's first app for a literary prize. Free audio extracts of all 13 of the longlisted titles can now be downloaded to mobile phones via GoSpoken at To support and stimulate reading groups' discussions, reading guides for each of the longlisted titles are available online. Each guide provides an introduction to the authors, their books, starting points for discussion and ideas for extended reading. Other resources on the website include the Toolkit 2010, which provides a range of ideas for reading groups. See

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