Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Posh Bingo, Damp Toast

Yesterday's gusty winds quite blew my wits away, but I was vaguely aware that the Man Booker Shortlist had been announced. Hot favourites Alan Hollinghurst and Sebastian Barry are nowhere to be seen, leaving serial Booker bridesmaid Julian Barnes in pole position. It's little more than 'posh bingo', as he's said himself, but good luck to him.
My ever earlier nightly retreat to bed, book and nightcap means that I often find myself in the bath while Book at Bedtime is on Radio 4. It is generally a depressing experience, and has been more or less ever since this great aberration. As it happens, the current BatB is the Sebastian Barry, On Canaan's Side, read by Claire Bloom in the sepulchral tones reserved for this kind of Irish thing (I blame Edna O'Brein). And a few weeks ago the BatB was none other than Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending, read in fittingly laborious style by the author. I remember almost nothing of it, but it has left behind a faint sense of dim light, damp toast, lukewarm soup... Is this unfair? Of course it is. As I said, Good luck to him.


  1. Behind the pay wall young Coren points his catapult in Barnes direction, Julian, apparently, once refused to endorse Giles product. Or perhaps doesn't subscribe to nepotism.
    Coren eventually endorses Julian Barnes book, sure fire thing then.