We’re So Not The Booker

That’s the thing about the Whitbread: they try harder. Even if that means leaving off Barnes and Zadie Smith and Ishiguro–what do they have here, an anti-popularity quota? You get more than a certain number of great reviews, high sales figures and shortlist calls and sorry, Cinders, you can’t come to the ball? Sheesh. Anyway, the Babu has no quarrel with the books they did put on the list for best novel of 2005; I mean, someone has to be kind to Salman, yes?

2005 WHITBREAD NOVEL AWARD

Nick Hornby A Long Way Down (Viking)

Salman Rushdie Shalimar The Clown (Jonathan Cape)

Ali Smith The Accidental (Hamish Hamilton)

Christopher Wilson The Ballad of Lee Cotton (Little, Brown)

2005 WHITBREAD FIRST NOVEL AWARD

Tash Aw The Harmony Silk Factory (Harper Perennial)

Diana Evans 26a (Chatto & Windus)

Peter Hobbs The Short Day Dying (Faber and Faber)

Rachel Zadok Gem Squash Tokoloshe (Pan Macmillan

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