Booker's 'low-key' dozen

Booker's 'low-key' dozen

<p>Four first-time novelists and a near-total absence of literary stars combine to make this year&#39;s Man Booker prize longlist announcement one of the most low-key in many years, notes the Guardian. Waterstone&#39;s called it a giant-felling list. </p><p>&quot;Judges for this year&#39;s &pound;50,000 Man Booker prize threw one of the most remarkable surprises in its 39-year history at the public and publishing industry last night. They tore up nearly all predictions and disregarded virtually all star literary novelists with new books under their belts.&quot; The news will produce as much shock among literary agents as authors - and the editors who entered them with some confidence for yesterday&#39;s long list.</p><p>The Telegraph reports that the bookies installed the British novelist Ian McEwan as 3-1 favourite to win this year&rsquo;s &pound;50,000 prize after the judges unveiled a 13-title longlist shorn of household names and packed with surprises.</p><p>The bookmakers William Hill made Nicola Barker&#39;s much admired <em>Darkmans </em>an early second favourite with Mohsin Hamid&#39;s post September 11 allegory of east-west relations set in New York was third. </p>