Booker's 'best' shortlist promotion

<p>The Man Booker Prize is to take full-page ads in the <em>Times </em>as part of its shortlist promotion. One ad a day will be run on each shortlisted title from 22nd September. The ads are part of a promotional campaign described by Man Booker as the &quot;biggest and best&quot;, which was revealed following the announcement of the shortlist. <br /><br />The main surprise of the day was that Salman Rushdie&#39;s <em>The Enchantress of Florence</em> was not featured. Rushie, the double winner of the Booker of Booker&#39;s prize provoked &quot;engaging and passionate debate&quot;, according to the judges. However the judging panel decided that the book was not strong enough to make the final six. &quot;In the opinion of this group it wasn&#39;t one of the top six,&quot; said Michael Portillo, chair of the judging panel. &quot;I can say that discussions about Rushdie as with all the other books was a discussion about the book, not the author or the context.&quot;</p><p>Julia Kingsford, marketing manager at Foyles, said that it was a good thing that there were no &quot;big names&quot; on the shortlist. &quot;Often when there is, it puts a disproportionate amount of attention on that book,&quot; she said. The judges were eager to emphasise the readability of their chosen titles. James Heneage, founder of Ottakar&#39;s bookshops and a member of the panel, said: &quot;I would say to booksellers - this is a really really readable page-turning list.&quot;</p><p>One of the hotly tipped titles, <em>Netherland</em> by Joseph O&#39;Neill was also denied a place on the shortlist. Instead novels by two debut authors took places in the final six. Steve Toltz and Aravind Adigana have &quot;original minds and original styles&quot;, said Portillo. &quot;They both absolutely blow the cobwebs away, plucky, audacious, I might even say alternative.&quot;</p><p>Despite declaring that the position of chair had been a &quot;great privilege&quot;, when asked if he would take part again Portillo said: &quot;No, I would not.&quot; &quot;It was certainly enjoyable and it was certainly hard work,&quot; he said, but &quot;at times the pressure was really on&quot;.</p><p>Bookmakers have been hastily recalculating their odds for the shortlisted books, notably relieved that the two favourites had been eliminated at the first hurdle. William Hill has placed Sebastian Barry&#39;s <em>The Secret Scripture</em> as favourite at 2/1. Ladbrokes has gone for Aravind Adiga&#39;s <em>The White Tiger</em> at 15/8. &quot;It looks like a very open competition with everyone in with a chance,&quot; said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.<br /><br />The winner will be announced on Tuesday 14th October at a dinner at London&#39;s Guildhall.<br /><br />The shortlist in full is:<br /><br />Aravind Adiga <em>The White Tiger</em> <br />Sebastian Barry T<em>he Secret Scripture</em> <br />Amitav Ghosh <em>Sea of Poppies</em> <br />Linda Grant <em>The Clothes on Their Backs </em><br />Philip Hensher <em>The Northern Clemency</em> <br />Steve Toltz <em>A Fraction of the Whole</em></p>