I previously explained the background to the Man Booker Prize missing year. The judges have now announced the shortlisted books, so it is over to the public to decide the winner, and you can cast your vote here. At this point, I have to confess that I have not read any of these books (I'm too young!) and know very little about them. The deadline for the votes to be cast is 23rd April, which doesn't give me enough time to read all six, so I think I will leave the voting to those with more time on their hands.
From the perspective of a collector, the one which cause most problems is Troubles by J.G.Farrell, whose early books are uncommon. The one online copy which I found appears to have sold very quickly at £250 (from a high end dealer), and copies are now not available. A very good copy along with a similar copy of The Siege of Krishnapur by the same author failed to sell at auction in 2004 with a reserve of around £60. Booker Prize completists will undoubtedly be looking at the moment, and patience will be required. Should this book win the public vote, demand may persist. Of the others, The Bay at Noon and The Birds on the Trees also seems relatively uncommon at present.
- Nina Bawden: The Birds on the Trees (Longman, London, 1970)
- J G Farrell: Troubles (Cape, London, 1970)
- Shirley Hazzard: The Bay of Noon (Macmillan, London, 1970)
- Patrick White: The Vivisector (Cape, London, 1970)
- Mary Renault: Fire from Heaven (Longman, London, 1970)
- Muriel Spark: The Driver’s Seat (Macmillan, London, 1970)