Did you know there was such a thing as ‘Best of the Booker’? Apparently, this year is the fortieth anniversary of the prize, and they’ve established a best-of-the-best award, just like they did for the twenty-fifth. Salman Rushdie won it last time with Midnight Children, but this time there are some more worthy contenders.
This might just be lazy Saturday news for you, but it shocked me: there are bets being placed on the outcome of the award! One of the leading bookie (what an appropriate word) agencies of the world is currently taking 4 to 1 bets on Rushdie, while another is offering the same odds on Yann Martel with his Life of Pi.
Book gambling just doesn’t seem right to me. Can you picture guys in suits with tiny black cellphones saying things like ‘Four big ‘uns on that Martel, Johnny, he’s a banker’ or ‘Rushdie’s the jolly, no money in that’? It’s strange thinking about books as something financially powerful, though of course it’s all a big business.
I do hope Yann Martel is a banker, Life of Pi is a wonderful book. We found it in a second-hand book store in Jerusalem, and never traded it back in, it was just a must to keep and treasure as a part of our library.