So the skirmish is done for another year and I think we might all be heaving a sigh of relief that it's over. The judges didn't think Sebastian Barry's On Canaan's Side was as good as I did... a travesty, and we will all have one, but they did like The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes and thankfully so did I ... very much indeed.
KevinFromCanada liked it too and don't miss his CBC radio interview with Shelagh Rogers where he talks about blogging, the Booker and the Giller and books books and more books.
So The Sense of an Ending just in case you need a reminder...
... 150 pages of incrediby valuable writing, less is more, the writer who trusts the reader to 'get it' even if poor Tony can't; an elegiac novel about ageing and time, and the cover with its slightly rain-washed look, the feel of an over-exposed photograph and the dandelion head with the drifting seeds somehow all felt right too ... didn't we as children blow the seeds away as a means of telling the time?
For me a book about life's expectations and definitions of happiness, about nostalgia and Tony's take on it...
'But if nostalgia means the powerful recollection of strong emotions - and a regret that such feelings are no longer present in our lives - then I plead guilty.'
The rest of my thoughts are here, and I am immediately cast back to a very hot August afternoon in that post-Port Eliot Festival haze, when I sat in the shade of the apple trees and read this book for the first time and marvelled, yes a really much-deserved win for Julian Barnes.
And I have a spare copy of The Sense of An Ending sitting here, so names in comments if you would like to be in with a chance of winning this year's Booker Prize winner, and let's push the boat out and make it worldwide and give Hilary a challenge in the village post office.
We'll do the draw very soon.