Well, well, well. I knew it. Well, I didn’t know it, but in getting excited about the horse race between Lloyd Jones and Ian McEwan, I forgot to insert a line reading, “…but, of course, I’m sure it will be Anne Enright, a real long-shot, who comes from behind to pip them both at the post.”
And wouldn’t you know it? (Read our starred review of The Gathering.)
Far from climbing the podium and shouting, “I’m queen of the world!”, Enright promptly issued a disclaimer (“Anne Enright Wins Booker Prize,” by Jill Lawless, AP):
Enright said people looking for a cheery read should not pick up her book. “It is the intellectual equivalent of a Hollywood weepy,” she said.
Even the judges weren’t exactly pumping their fists:
Howard Davies, the chairman of the judging panel, acknowledged the book was “a little bleak” in places, but praised it as “a very readable novel.”
“Readable”? “Readable”?! You may know prestigious-book-award-judging, pal, but stay away from book reviewing. A couple of weeks ago I heard Booklist Adult Books Editor Brad Hooper tell a roomful of librarians that “readable,” being essentially meaningless, was likely to make him return a review to sender for rewriting. One hopes that an unreadable novel wouldn’t be shortlisted by the Booker, much less take home the prize.