Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending (Cape) is comfortably the bestselling longlistee of one of the most popular Man Booker longlists since records began.
Barnes' concise novel has sold 9,700 copies at UK booksellers since the longlist was announced on 26th July, almost double the number of the next most popular longlistee, Alan Hollinghurst's The Stranger's Child (Picador).
Sebastian Barry's On Canaan's Side (Faber) is the third most popular longlistee in print sales terms, while D J Taylor's Derby Day (Chatto) has proved the least popular purchase with sales of 762 copies over the period, despite being one of the bookies' favourites.
In total, the 13 longlistees have sold a combined 29,700 copies since the week the Man Booker judges announced the contenders for the £50,000 award, making it one of the most popular longlists since Nielsen BookScan records began.
Sales are more than twice the size of the 2008 longlist and at least 30% higher than both the 2007 and 2006 longlists. However, sales are down approximately 35% on last year's record-breakingly popular longlist which included Emma Donoghue's Room (Picador) and Christos Tsiolkas' The Slap (Tuskar Rock).
Barnes' The Sense of an Ending has been one of the bestselling hardback novels over the past month, with only Tess Gerritsen's The Silent Girl (Bantam Press), George R R Martin's A Dance with Dragons (HarperVoyager), James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge's Now You See Her (Century) and the irrepressible Katie Price's The Comeback Girl (Century) enjoying stronger sales. However, only once in the 21st century has the bestselling longlistee gone on to win the Man Booker prize—in 2009 (Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall (Fourth Estate)).
Last year's winner, Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury) has now sold 255,000 copies at UK booksellers to date. His previous novel, The Act of Love (Cape), has sold just 6,100 copies.
The Man Booker bestseller list:
1) Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape) 9,700
2) Alan Hollinghurst The Stranger's Child (Picador) 5,400
3) Sebastian Barry On Canaan's Side (Faber) 3,400
4) Stephen Kelman Pigeon English (Bloomsbury) 2,350
5) Patrick deWitt The Sister's Brothers (Granta) 1,550
6) Patrick McGuinness The Last Hundred Days (Seren) 1,250
7) Esi Edugyan Half-blood Blues (Serpent's Tail) 1,050
8) Jane Rogers The Testament of Jessie Lamb (Sandstone) 1,000
9) Yvvette Edwards A Cupboard Full of Coats (Oneworld) 900
10) Carol Birch Jamarch's Menagerie (Canongate) 850
11) AD Miller Snowdrops (Atlantic) 800
12) Alison Pick Far to Go (Headline) 750
13) DJ Taylor Derby Day (Chatto) 750