Bloomsbury pushes button on 50,000 reprint of Booker winner

Bloomsbury pushes button on 50,000 reprint of Booker winner

<p>Bloomsbury is to reprint another 50,000 copies of Howard Jacobson&#39;s <em>The Finkler Question</em> after the title scooped the Man Booker Prize. Jacobson picked up the &pound;50,000 prize at an awards ceremony at the Guild Hall in London last night (12th October). The win may have shocked some bookies, with the title having the second longest odds at William Hill on Monday of 9/1.</p><p>This is the third Man Booker winner published by Bloomsbury, but the first for ten years. <em>The Blind Assassin</em> by Margaret Atwood won the prize in 2000 and <em>The English Patient</em> by Michael Ondaatje in 1992.</p><p><em>The Finkler Question</em> was only the fourth favourite with the public in sales terms. According to Nielsen BookScan data, the book has sold 8,300 copies to date, far fewer copies than the shortlist bestseller, Emma Donoghue&#39;s <em>Room</em> (34,400). It was also outsold by both <em>The Long Song</em> (18,500) and <em>Parrot and Olivier in America</em> (9,900). </p><p>However, Waterstone&#39;s spokesperson Jon Howells said: &quot;I think it&#39;s a great book to win. I think its particularly nice as Howard Jacobson is a great writer. He&#39;s just been a consistently clever and insightful writer after all this time. It is amazing he has never come close to winning the Booker.&quot;</p><p>Howells added Waterstone&#39;s would be &quot;going all out&quot; with the Booker winner and was offering the title for half price both online and in store. &quot;It&#39;s a fantastically Waterstoney book, he&#39;s a fantastically good literary writer.&quot; said Howells. Jonathan Ruppin, from Foyles, said: &quot;We don&#39;t have a masterpiece as a winner, but that can&#39;t happen every year, but what we do have is a popular choice which will appeal to a broad range of people and sales will be strong.&quot;</p><p>Today&#39;s press is broadly positive about the winner, though it is reported that the title only just pipped Peter Carey&#39;s s<em> Olivier and Parrot in America</em> after a 3-2 split at the final judging. Claire Armitstead in the Guardian, wrote: &quot;<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/oct/12/howard-jacobson-booker-prize... target="_blank" title="http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/oct/12/howard-jacobson-booker-prize... Howard Jacobson&#39;s win is long overdue is pretty much undeniable: until tonight he looked set to challenge Beryl Bainbridge for the unenviable record of most frequent Booker bridesmaid. But this certainty will go in tandem for many of his fans with the suspicion that, like Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan before him, he didn&#39;t break the jinx with his best novel.</a>&quot;</p><p>On the night Jacobson said: &quot;I have waited a long time to win - I am truly flabbergasted. I&#39;m sick of being described as under-rated. There has been a lot of bitterness, but that has gone now. I&#39;ve been around for thirty years and now I&#39;m being discovered.&quot; He also agreed with a description of himself as the love child of Jane Austen and Philip Roth. He agreed the book was, in part, a comic novel but &quot;for me, to be a comic novelist is to be a serious novelist.&quot; </p><p>Asked what his next book was, Jacobson said he had been working on a book about a writer with no success, but that might have to change now. In interviews this morning (13th) Jacobson said he expected a sales boost, and that the book would become his most well-known, Jacobson has been longlisted twice for the prize, in 2006 for <em>Kalooki Nights</em> and in 2002 for <em>Who&#39;s Sorry Now</em>, but has never before been shortlisted.</p><p>The 2008 winner, Aravind Adiga&#39;s<em> The White Tiger</em> (Atlantic), had sold fewer than 6,000 copies by the time it picked up the prestigious award, but it has since gone on to sell 527,000 copies to date, taking a massive &pound;3.6m through the tills. Jacobson&#39;s book has already shot up the Amazon Bestseller Chart to number two. </p>