‘Snot our fault: Booker judges

This is known as the Don’t-Blame-Us-It-Was-A-Bad-Year-For-Books defence:

“Led by Chris Smith, the former culture secretary, the judges claimed that ‘quite a number’ of novels entered [for the Booker] were ‘surprisingly bad’. The attack follows criticism of the judges themselves that their list of 22 books, from which yesterday’s shortlist was picked, was lacklustre.”

Here’s the shortlist, for what it’s worth:

David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Colm Toibin, The Master

Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty

Achmat Dangor, Bitter Fruit

Sarah Hall, The Electric Michelangelo

Gerard Woodward, I’ll go to Bed at Noon

The Guardian has its usual comprehensive report; The Scotsman points out that Henry James dominates the shortlist from the grave; and The Independent has a bread-and-butter roundup.

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