From Lit Hub:
In a refreshing “quiet part loud” moment earlier this fall, this year’s celebrity Booker judge, Peep Show’s Robert Webb, admitted publicly that it’s basically impossible to read the entire pre-longlist pool of 163 books in seven months. While that’s not exactly a novel-a-day, as Webb suggests, it’s pretty damn hard, particularly if you have a day job that has nothing to do with reading books.
Webb’s big mistake, of course, wasn’t that he didn’t finish every single novel, but that he admitted it. Most of us who read professionally can tell by the 50-page mark if we don’t like a book: the DNA of truly great writing is usually there in each sentence, each paragraph, and so we read on.
. . . .
It’s always been the case that the more you look behind the scenes of literary prizes the more arbitrary (and silly, frankly) the whole enterprise seems. If we’re being honest, the point isn’t to pick the ONE TRUE best novel (that’s not how art works) but rather to remind the broader public that novels exist, that they should be celebrated, and, while we’re at it, purchased in hardcover for $29.99.
Link to the rest at Lit Hub
PG suspects there are many different and more effective ways for selecting the Booker prizes than by inviting a group of traditional publishing insiders to read (or not read) the candidates and then vote according to the best interests of their publisher.
PG is not suggesting that such behavior would ever occur in the hallowed and dusty halls of major publishing.