KFC IMPAC contest winner


ThomasAnd the winner of the third KFC contest is……

John Self of The Asylum, the only entrant who picked Michael Thomas’ Man Gone Down. He was the last entry and admitted that he was only entering as a last-ditch Anybody-But-William effort. It was successful beyond his wildest dreams.

Let me know how you would like the $75 prize money, John. I can’t think of a more deserving winner.

KFC continues to be hopeless when it comes to contests — as visitors here know I found this book so unappealing that I abandoned it. The only comments that I received supported that decision and no one sprang to the book’s defence so I will admit to being baffled by the IMPAC judge’s decision. Any explanations of why it is a deserving winner would be welcome — since I did read 274 pages, I’ll admit in advance it will be a tough task to persuade me to pick it up again. Then again, as I have said before, it would be a very boring world if we all thought the same about every book.

Many thanks to all those who entered and who commented on the IMPAC reviews. It was a fun project from my point of view and I look forward to KFC’s fourth contest in a few months.

23 Responses to “KFC IMPAC contest winner”

  1. Trevor Says:

    Great job, John! And what a way to win!


  2. KevinfromCanada Says:

    I’m starting to think that John lives in a whole different universe from the rest of we earthbound bloggers. I hardly ever abandon a book and certainly cannot remember the last time I left one when I had already read 75 per cent of the book. My apologies to everyone for giving them such bad advice — although I did offer a link to the positive NY Times review, at least. Still…… Maybe juries and I also live in different worlds.


  3. William Rycroft Says:

    May I be the, erm, second to congratulate John on using his well known critical skills to pick Man Gone Down ‘just because nobody else has’!
    I’ll get you next time!

    Kevin, I didn’t much like last year’s winner of this prize ‘De Niro’s Game’ so I wouldn’t worry about not finishing this one. However, I’d love to know which book will get your “not written for people like me” vote in this year’s Booker, it having been the winner last time.


  4. KevinfromCanada Says:

    Will: It is true that I had The White Tiger last of six in the 2008 Booker shortlist. And I felt that The Gathering was the only book on the 2007 Booker shortlist that did not deserve to be there. And that DeNiro’s Game had no place on the Giller shortlist, let alone winning the IMPAC. So I do think I will be charging a fee before revealing which book I think is the worst on this year’s Booker shortlist since it will almost certainly take the Prize and thus worthy of a significant bookie bet.


  5. dovegreyreader Says:

    Is that not the luck of the Irish? Congratulations JS!
    Kevin I’m kiss of death on the Booker and have predicted several winners on the basis of the book I loathed, John Banville’s The Sea for one, but yet to pick a winner based on a book I’ve loved.
    Are we going to have a round-the-blogs guess at this year’s longlist for starters?


  6. John Self Says:

    Thanks Kevin and everyone else – I’m delighted and highly embarrassed to have won. I was going to suggest that you donate the equivalent of the gift voucher to a worthy cause, as I clearly do not need more books, but Mrs Self pointed out that there could be no better cause than building up our baby son’s library of suitable books. Any suggestions for titles he might like (he’s four months old but, of course, very bright 😉 ) will be welcomed: this is one area of book recommendations where I am flailing.


  7. dovegreyreader Says:

    Finn urgently needs The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Dogger by Shirley Hughes, Each Peach Pear Plum and The Baby’s Catalogue by the Ahlbergs and a really good book of nursery rhymes because whatever the latest trends nursery rhymes are still the best.
    There, see how I love spending other people’s money:-)


  8. KevinfromCanada Says:

    John and Mrs. Self: I had thought of exactly the same thing regarding Finn. dgr certainly knows more about children’s books than I do, so you might want to follow her advice. I was going to suggest that since I am a member of the Folio Society you might want to make a selection of their children’s classics since the volumes are so well produced. Since my nieces and nephews are now in their teens, I’d be proud to add a volume or two a year to make sure he has suitable good books for his childhood. By all means take your time making a decision and let me know.

    On the Booker front, someone at Picador ran a blog contest on the possible long list last year that drew some very interesting entries (and pointed me at some interesting titles). Does either of you have a contact there to see if they could be jollied along to do it again — I don’t think the prize was excessive and the site is better suited to lists than running it on a blog or the Man Booker site. If they don’t, we should definitely get a contest set up somewhere since I will undoubtedly lose again.


  9. KevinfromCanada Says:

    I would note that Winnie-the-Pooh does have a Canadian connection.


  10. Sheila o'Brien Says:

    Congratulations. In the annals of history there will be no mention of HOW you won this prestigous contest, only THAT you won.
    Well done.
    Finn must be very proud.


  11. Carole Says:

    Well done John.

    As for recommendations for the small one:

    ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ and ‘Aliens in Underpants Save the World’ – Caire Freedman and Ben Cort

    ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ – Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

    Anything by Oliver Jeffers or Julia Donaldson

    I hope you all enjoy them, my lads did…Carole


  12. Colette Jones Says:

    John, for Finn in a couple years:

    Sesame Street’s “The Monster at the End of this Book”

    “Harold and the Purple Crayon”

    Dr Seuss: “Green Eggs and Ham”


  13. John Self Says:

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Happily, we already have the Winnie-the-Pooh books, as well as a clutch of Dr Seusses and Guess How Much I Love You. Carole, Oliver Jeffers is from my home town and used to work in my local bookshop – he did terrific window display illustrations, as you can imagine!


  14. Carole Says:


    I am very jealous, being the one doing the window displays in the bookshop in which I work I suspect his were alot more artistic and inspiring than mine. If he is ever in or near Midleton, Co. Cork let him know that I would be glad to provide tea and buns…Carole


  15. KevinfromCanada Says:

    I can’t believe the delightful direction this comment thread has taken with John’s win and new book project (thanks to Mrs. Self for pointing out the obvious to him). Who would have thought an obscure blog contest might lead to window display artists getting introduced to each other? It almost makes Man Going Down winning okay, but not quite.


  16. Mrs. Berrett Says:

    I’m a bit late here, but I would recommend the “That’s not my…” book series by Usborne Books. Our boys both love “That’s Not My Monster” and “That’s Not My Truck.” They are touchy-feely books.
    Trevor loves the “Napping House” and in that same line I adore “The Day the Goose Got Loose.”
    A more subtle approach to the the very popular (in America) “I Love you Forever” is “The Sea Monster and Me.”
    Carter is a big fan of Mo Willems (particularly “Knuffle Bunny”) and John Sceizka (sp?).
    In the read-aloud category some of our favorites are “The Wind in the Willows,” “The Little Prince,” “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland,” “Peter Pan,” and “Treasure Island.”
    And I must second DGR’s choices (especially Each Peach Pear Plum) along with Collete’s.


  17. KevinfromCanada Says:

    Thank you, Mrs. Berrett and I don’t think you are too late because John has not yet told me where to buy the gift certificate.


  18. John Self Says:

    Thanks Mrs Berrett – clearly there is a communication breakdown in the Berrett household as I told Trevor on Facebook (or was it Twitter…?) that we are enjoying two of the That’s Not My… books at the moment! Dinosaur and Bear, in fact (boy, I think every time I see those books, the writer and illustrator who came up with that concept have a licence to print money).

    We also have one Mo Willems: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, which is a little old for him at the moment, but dad likes it…

    Kevin, the best place for the gift certificate would seem to be the Book Depository. Via the affiliate link of your choice of course! Many thanks again.


  19. Trevor Says:

    I’m guilty of breaking down all sorts of communication in our house. This is no exception. (Though I did tell Mrs. Berrett to get on here to give some recommendations . . . ) Serves me right that the first words in her comment are “. . . but I would recommend the ‘That’s not my . . .’ book series.”


  20. KevinfromCanada Says:

    John: I can’t find a way to purchase a credit on the Book Depository site so I’ve sent them a message with a question. Will let you know when I get a response. Kevin


  21. John Self Says:

    Oh that’s OK Kevin – I didn’t think to check, just assumed they would have a gift scheme. If it doesn’t pan out then waterstones.com would be just great.


  22. KevinfromCanada Says:

    I’ll let you know once I get a response.


  23. William Rycroft Says:

    I love those ‘That’s not my…’ books, they’re great. At this early stage John the best thing is to find the touchy feely books like those or some ‘lift the flap’ books. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler of ‘Gruffalo’ fame have a series called Tales from Acorn Wood which we still use. Also whilst Finn is very young it might be good to find a big,, bold, black and white book (as it’s a while before they really develop the ability to see colour). We have one called ‘I Kissed The Baby’ which made a bit of a comeback recently when Tom used to enjoy being chased for the big smoochy finale!


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