Irish stylist springs Booker surprise

From The Guardian:

Booker_1 The veteran Irish stylist John Banville brought off one of the biggest literary coups last night when he took the £50,000 Booker Prize from under the noses of the bookies and the literary insiders. A 7-1 outsider in the betting odds and untipped by virtually any critic, his novel The Sea was declared victorious in a contest which the judges’ chairman, John Sutherland, said had been “painful” in its closeness. Banville triumphed when Professor Sutherland cast his chairman’s vote in his favour. Until then, the judges were tied, with two backing Banville and two, it is understood, supporting the runner-up, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.

More here.