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The Booker prize and book reviewers

By William Skidelsky  

A storm has been rocking the literary world over the past week as a result of Howard Davies’s speech at the Booker prize ceremony. Davies, this year’s chair of judges, used his speech to attack book reviewers and literary editors for lauding too many unworthy books and ignoring those of real quality. Not surprisingly, literary hacks went on the attack. The Observer‘s Robert McCrum described Davies’s speech as “one of the most embarassing Booker speeches in living memory,” while Nicholas Lezard on the Guardian‘s blog dismissed it on the grounds that Davies, a glorified bean counter, couldn’t possibly understand how…

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