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Banville beats Booker odds

Last night, in a ceremony in London’s Guildhall, Irish novelist John Banville beat seven-to-one odds and brought home his first Man Booker Prize for a melancholy study on old age, love, and grief, The Sea. The Guardian called the novel “one of the least commercial on the six-strong shortlist” that also included such literary superstars as Zadie Smith and the bookie-favoured Julian Barnes.

Critics are mixed in their assessment of the book. The Daily Telegraph‘s Lewis Jones calls Banville “the heir to Nabokov … with his fastidious wit and exquisite style,” while The Independent‘s literary editor, Boyd Tonkin, calls The Sea “an icy and over-controlled exercise in coterie aestheticism” and its victory “possibly the worst, certainly the most perverse, and perhaps the most indefensible choice in the 36-year history of the contest.”

Related links:
Click here for an article by Boyd Tonkin of The Independent
Click here for a review of The Sea featured in the Daily Telegraph in June