Monday, October 01, 2007
a literary life
Last Updated: 12:01am
Mark Sanderson at large in a world of books
The shortlist for this year's Man Booker Prize features both the longest – Nicola Barker's Darkmans (840 pp) – and the shortest – Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach (166 pp) – titles from the longlist.
The sales figures, before the announcement, according to Nielsen BookScan, were similarly extreme.
Up to 18 August the McEwan (published in April) had sold 99,660 copies whereas the Barker (May) had sold 499 copies.
As for the other four: Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist (March) had sold 1,519 copies, Lloyd Jones's Mister Pip (June) 880 copies, Anne Enright's The Gathering (May) 834 copies and Indra Sinha's Animal's People (March) a mere 231 copies.
Such totals beg the question why anyone should bother to write literary fiction....isn't this sad...