Thursday, 14 October 2010


Yes, the Booker prize has finally been awarded to a British writer of humour.

I have not yet read Howard Jacobson's winning entry, but - nevertheless - I find it's success hugely encouraging, because the only book I have ever written is basically humorous, and I have pretty much given up all ambitions to get it to an agent, let alone publisher.

Don't get me wrong, I have never had delusions about winning accolades for it, I just think that the whole bloody business may be lightened up a bit by giving writer's writers a good kick up the arse with a not-so-subtle indication that their tortured and tortuous scribblings may be being ousted by offerings which the general public could - after about 42 years - actually enjoy reading.

Mr Jacobson seems to believe (as I do) that no good or useful fiction can be written without a very strong element of humour. Indeed, he goes so far as to assert that all novels actually began as humorous ones, before being hi-jacked by the sort of depressive introspects that have been winning this prize since it was first awarded, all those years ago.

Good on you Howard, and congratulations too.


  1. Don't give up Tom!
    That's great for Jacobson, I haven't read anything by him but your point is a good one. I know I keep coming back to Oz in my comments but I'm going to do it again. The latest lit gong here went out to Peter Temple who writes crime/gumshoe genre novels and that raised a few eyebrows - crime - literature - can they be the same thing? These decisions have been good because they loosen things up a bit.

  2. Haven't read Jacobson. (but I will)...was rooting for Emma Donaghue's ROOM

    Jack is five.
    He lives in a single room with his Ma.
    The room is locked.
    Neither Jack nor Ma have a key

  3. I've not read his books, but he's a great journalist. I think I've also seen him on TV (?).

    Don't like the dust cover! Dullsville.

  4. I wonder if he feels a lot of pressure in writing the next one? I know, shouldn't think like that!

  5. Ha! I sound a bit bitter in the above, but didn't mean to! Good point too, Sarah T - they are STILL sniffy about J.K. Rowling's success too, let alone Edgar Wallace.

    Is that the tag-line, J?

    I agree about the cover, Cro - that would NOT get me buying the book.

    He sounds very unpressurised to me, Amy, but expect his agent will be applying it, after the fuss has died down.