The Sea or Arthur & George: The Booker vs the Bookies
Play • 41 min

Last week we crowned the best Booker shortlist ever and this week, we're going even deeper into that list. In 2005, the odds were on Julian Barnes to win the Booker Prize with Arthur & George but the judges chose The Sea by John Banville. Arthur & George traces the intersecting lives of an obscure solicitor and the world-famous creator of Sherlock Holmes, while The Sea follows a man attempting to escape a recent loss while confronting a past trauma. So, we're taking a closer look at both books and asking: who was right – the Booker judges or the bookies?

In this episode Jo and James:

  • Give plot summaries of Arthur & George and The Sea
  • Share a short biography of Julian Barnes and John Banville
  • Discuss the merits of each novel
  • Consider whether the bookies' favourite should have won the Booker Prize in 2005

Reading list:

Further resources:

A full transcript of the episode is available at our website.

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