White Tiger wins 2008 Man Booker Prize

October 14, 2008 at 2:55 pm Leave a comment

Aravind Adiga has won the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for 2008 with his debut novel The White Tiger.

Michael Portillo, who chaired this year’s judges, compared it to Macbeth, being about “ambition realised through murder … with a delicious twist”. He also praised its “originality“.

Earlier, one of the other judges, Louise Doughty, had criticised male academics for avoiding readable books when judging literary prizes.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to have academics as judges on these prizes. Academics always have their eye on their reputations and always have a vested interest to pick someone as literary and obscure as possible,” she said, prompting some derision from those who have been underwhelmed by the judges’ choices. I’m all for choosing books that are readable (as opposed to stultifyingly boring exhibitions of style over substance, say – no names no pack drill) but I think we have a right to expect more from a prize winner. After all, if readability was the be-all and end-all, the organisers could take a leaf out of Richard & Judy‘s bookclub and initiate a Beach-Booker prize.

Maybe the judges should be just as concerned with their chosen books’ viewability, because yet again this year there was no proper coverage of the prize on British television. It’s annoying enough that the BBC, with all its shiny new digital channels, refuse to give any airtime to my favourite band, but to ignore the Booker Prize as well? I mean, what the hell is BBC4 for? Whatever is wrong with you, BBC?

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Entry filed under: Adiga, Aravind, BBC, BBC4, Booker, Doughty, literature, Macbeth, Portillo, White Tiger.

2008 Shortlist Naughtie chair for the Maestro

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