Join the Books Editor Andrew Losowsky as he waits for the big announcement. Tweet comments at @huffpostbooks, email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your comments below. Thank you, and now we bring your scheduled entertainment.
10/18/2011 4:57 PM EDT
The crowd is on its feet, cheering, crying. The bar staff smile. It will be a long night.
*The MC quietly puts the penguin back into his pocket. He tries to make himself heard over the chaos.*
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you. A worthy winner, one predicted by the bookmakers, the public, and indeed even our own humble reviewer.
We hope you have enjoyed our humble offering. The bar is to your left. Perhaps we will see each other again some time soon. We hear the National Book Awards have traditionally lacked Antarctic waterfowl at their events...
*The MC waves to the crowd. The spotlight goes out. The stage is in darkness. The hubbub fades. A cloud fills the room. You close your eyes. And beyond these, there is unrest. There is great unrest.*
10/18/2011 4:51 PM EDT
The penguin collapses with the effort. The crowd stands and applauds. The MC smiles.
The winner of the Man Booker Prize 2011
10/18/2011 4:49 PM EDT
"The Winner Is Julian Barnes"
10/18/2011 4:48 PM EDT
A disembodied voice starts to echo through the room
*The penguin opens its beak and channels the voice of Dame Stella Rimington. The MC merely bows his head. A tiny spotlight is now focused on the penguin's beak. The rest of the room is in darkness.*
10/18/2011 4:46 PM EDT
The MC returns to the stage, now without make up. He has been crying.
*The tiny penguin runs over to him, hugs his ankles. The MC smiles, picks him up, then raises the microphone stand again, speaks into it without ceremony*
And now, ladies and gentlemen, the hour is upon us.
10/18/2011 4:45 PM EDT
The penguin continues
The LA Times said that "If Cormac McCarthy had a sense of humor, he might have concocted a story like Patrick deWitt's bloody, darkly funny western "The Sisters Brothers."
Our reviewer liked it as well.
10/18/2011 4:44 PM EDT
The spotlight stops on the final cover
*The penguin smiles, or at least the closest a penguin can come to a smile*
It's The Sisters Brothers, a Western from Canadian author Patrick deWitt.
10/18/2011 4:42 PM EDT
The penguin whispers in the MC's ear
*The MC nods, lowers the microphone to the floor so the penguin can speak into it and then leaves the stage*
Julian Barnes has been nominated three times before, but this is seen as his best hope.
But will it win?
*The penguin flaps its wings twice, does a twirl, as the spotlight moves to its final destination*
10/18/2011 4:37 PM EDT
A small ball of tumbleweed blows across the stage
10/18/2011 4:36 PM EDT
The MC grins hopefully
Those are all things that we can say that haven't been said.