Amis to miss out on Booker Prize yet again

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The Independent Culture

Martin Amis is expected to miss out yet again on his chance to win the Booker Prize - the literary crown that has eluded him throughout his career.

Sources close to Britain's most prestigious annual book award have revealed that Amis's latest novel, Yellow Dog, is unlikely to be included on the longlist published this week. His omission would automatically disqualify him from being included on the shortlist later this year, and further seal his reputation as Britain's most "passed-over" writer.

Amis has made the Booker shortlist only once, in 1991, for Time's Arrow, a novel about the life and times of a Nazi surgeon whose events are relayed in reverse order.

He may, however, take at least some comfort from the suggestion that he is unlikely to be the only literary big-hitter excluded from this year's longlist. The judges are also said to be less than enamoured of the latest novels by the former Booker winners Margaret Atwood, Anita Brookner and Peter Carey, whose last novel, True History of the Kelly Gang, secured the prize for him for a second time.

Amis's Yellow Dog, a satire on the Royal Family to be published next month, has had a troubled birth. Last week, fellow novelist Tibor Fischer, whose work has often been likened to Amis's, panned the book.

In a review, Mr Fischer wrote: "Yellow Dog isn't bad as in not very good or slightly disappointing. It's not-knowing-where-to-look bad. I was reading my copy on the Tube and I was terrified someone would look over my shoulder (not only because of the embargo, but because someone might think I was enjoying what was on the page)."

A source said that, though the final longlist of 20-plus books will not be decided until a meeting of the judges on Thursday, the early indications were that Amis would be among several big names omitted from it.

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