For someone who genuinely dislikes it (or at least dislikes the build-up to it, and who on the whole prefers his days to be free of the sight of dark clouds on the horizon), I seem to be doing more and more readings of my stuff in public. Last month it was Blackwell’s, this month it’s the open-mic night at the Skylark in Portobello, tomorrow evening (Friday 20th September). I don’t know how many people are reading in total, but I shall count myself amongst them. I’ll blog later about how it went.
I was also going to post something here about the latest Man Booker Prize controversy (in the same way Martin Amis suggested American readers might think it’s actually called the ‘Prestigious Booker Prize’, I sometimes think of its official title as the ‘Controversial Booker Prize’ – only it’s not really controversial, and every gesture towards controversy seems utterly contrived), but in the end I find I have nothing in particular to say about it. Perhaps, as the dust clears and the battle lines become more emphatically drawn, I’ll lend my weighty opinion to one side or the other. But the decision seems to have achieved its main aim anyway, which is to generate discussion, which in turn generates free publicity, which in turn generates sales of the shortlisted books, which in turn generates further prestige and controversy for the Controversially Prestigious Man Booker Prize. Job done.