The Booker judges announced in London yesterday that they have laid another egg, and have come to a decision on the shortlist.
The six short-listed books are:
- Darkmans by Nicola Barker
- The Gathering by Anne Enright
- The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
- Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
- On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
- Animal's People by Indra Sinha
The atmosphere in the judging room was somewhere between a book club and a maternity ward. What could be more agreeable than a freeform discussion of 110 novels, when you know that everyone else in the room has read them all and - even better - is obliged to display at least a polite interest in your exciting views? The only fly in the conversational ointment is that you are under the cosh to deliver 13 favourites at the end of it all.Around five o'clock we gave birth, with Ion Trewin as an unlikely bearded midwife.