Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Man Booker Prize 2011 Shortlist

Time for the 2011 Man Booker prize shortlist. The one previous winner (Alan Holinghurst, who was the bookies favourite), has not made it, and only one of this list has been shortlisted before. Julian Barnes, therefore, is likely to be the favourite for The Sense of an Ending (which I have reviewed recently).  He is the only "heavyweight" on the list and success would reward his career, although I do not think this is his best book.  Many would say that something similar happened last year with Howard Jacobson.  Of the others, I have read Snowdrops (an excellent thriller, which I expect to be an outsider) and Pigeon English.  It is a topical book with a very strong narrative voice, and I think is a possible winner.

For a collector, the main feature of interest is limited editions of both The Sense of an Ending and Snowdrops (see the links below).  I will update the shortlist with estimated prices in the next few days.

Julian Barnes - The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape - Random House)
Carol Birch - Jamrach's Menagerie (Canongate Books)
Patrick deWitt - The Sisters Brothers (Granta)
Esi Edugyan - Half Blood Blues (Serpent's Tail - Profile)
Stephen Kelman - Pigeon English (Bloomsbury)
A.D. Miller - Snowdrops (Atlantic)

Price update (9/9/11)
All of  the books are available fairly easily in first edition.  The Sisters Brothers and Half Blood Blues can both be picked up for £20 approx, along with Pigeon English (all paperback only).  Jamrach's Menagerie (again paperback only) is around £35.  Of the two hardcovers, The Sense of an Ending is around £20, though either of the two limited editions will be £200 up to £800 for the fully leather bound edition (of which I can find only one copy).  Snowdrops seems  the least common at present, with the ordinary hardcover at £80 or above and the limited edition £125 or above.  As always, prices are likely to fall for all except the winner once the result is announced. 

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