The Word On: The Man Booker Judges

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The Independent Culture

Right book, wrong judges. Congratulations to Aravind Adiga. He deserves his praise. I only wish I could say the same of the judges... The long-list was a dismal choice, omitting many clearly better-written books. Please, Booker committee, could we have a better judging panel this year, and can we stop sacrificing literary excellence for populism?

Redbrown (www.themanbookerprize.com)

[Judge] Louise Doughty reckons that male academics... choose "the literary and the obscure to impress their colleagues". She must be right... if we take a look at the last, say, ten books to win... we'll find such obscure, rebarbative and arcane titles as 'Life of Pi', 'Vernon God Little' and 'The Inheritance of Loss'. [These winners] aren't the dreadful, sentimental tosh I took them to be but are, it would seem, inaccessible and highbrow.

Mark Thwaite (www.readysteadybook.com)

Isn't the sole reason of a literary prize to heap praise on exciting authors... and not to highlight the conflicting opinions of those selecting each title? Shouldn't any panel of judges remain... outside the media glare, especially in the run-up to the award itself?

Lee Rourke (www.3ammagazine.com)

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