Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pass me a bottle Mr. Jones - you're gonna be a big star

Here we go again then. The judges have been busy reading the 110 novels entered for the 2007 Man Booker Prize and the longlist is due out any moment. I'm going to stick my neck out and say that the prize will be won by Mister Jones. But which one?

The hot favourite in literary circles is Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones, which has already won a couple of literary prizes, most notably the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. But there is another Jones in with a serious chance of winning this year - Aldous Jones, widower, retired art teacher and hero (for the want of a better word) of Gerard Woodward's third novel A Curious Earth.

From the moment I started reading A Curious Earth I was convinced I was reading this year's Booker Prize winner. It ticks all the boxes as far as I'm concerned, and it will take something really special to deny Woodward the prize. I haven't yet read his earlier novels August and I'll Go To Bed At Noon (which was shortlisted in 2004) but I certainly will.

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