Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Barry wins Costa Book Award

I'm delighted to hear Sebastian Barry won the Costa Book of the Year Award last night for his novel The Secret Scripture. I read this book recently and was impressed even though I thought the neat ending unsatisfactory.

Comments from the judges reveal that they were also unhappy with the ending. It seems unusual that judges make public such comments which sound very school master-ish. You can almost image a copy of his novel sent back to Barry with lots of red marks on it and "A good effort but ending unsatisfactory" written on the last page. The Independent even has the headline Barry's 'flawed' novel wins Costa prize here. Show me a flawless novel!!

Reports indicate Adam Foulds book of poetry The Broken Word was a close second. This seems to have taken commentators by suprise. It's great that a book of poetry is again so close to the top but while I enjoyed Foulds' book I would not have considered it as good as Barry's novel.

The Costa Book of the Year which has has a £25,000 prize, recognises the most enjoyable books of the past year by writers in the UK and Ireland.

Report in the Irish Times here.
Item in the Guardian here.
Picture of Sebastian Barry above from the Independent.

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