[image: Wilfriend Berns/tiermotive.de, CC details here]
It has been observed – chiefly by my wife – that the Booker List was notable this year for not having me on it. I write books in which otherwise-sensible people do things like save the world from ontological armageddon, or put on surplus combat gear in the name of fatherhood and try to make a difference to a tiny community under the shitheel of the geopolitical boot, so I have to acknowledge (when I am not moodily stalking the dim and dusty corridors of Harkaway Towers dressed in my underwear and the top half of a Godzilla suit, stamping on origami models of the judges made from pages of Anna Karenina) that I may not be dead in the centre of the Booker’s institutional target area.
However, dear reader: here is your opportunity to redress this wrong, and to free me from the clammy embrace of that lizard costume. The Guardian has included me on the (absurdly) long list for their Not The Booker Prize. And very few books are more legitimately Not The Booker than Tigerman, while retaining that “shake a granny” goodness that all top-grade Not The Booker literature should have. I therefore humbly submit to you, even as I fold a new set of A. C. Graylings from the words “Happy families are all alike” and sit like some strange proto-saurian minotaur in my chair, awaiting the moment when I must once more lumber with inexorable grace and appalling sorrow from the lounge to the library of this decaying wreck of a building, grinding the fruits of my origami to the black and white tiles and mooing in my finest impression of cinema’s most beloved monster, that you should go to their website and vote, vote, vote for Tigerman to make it through to the next round. It does not matter who or where you are. To the voting booth! Or actually, to the comments page! You write a review of 100 words or more, take the opportunity to review another book you enjoyed from the list, and vote! And why would you do this?
Because you liked the book.
Or because the image of me thus attired, melancholically making my way over the wreckage of an origami city dappled with the words of Leo Tolstoy, somehow strikes something in you that you cannot extinguish, and even though you’ve never heard of me or cared about my work or indeed any books of any kind, you genuinely feel that Tigerman, somehow, must be worth supporting, must express an identity that is important to you in some ineffable way you cannot express without also putting on half a Godzilla suit and walking ghostly and immense through the crushed Tokyos of your own home. In which case you need to read the book quickly and then review it.
Or for reasons of your own too strange to explain. Although you should feel free to explain them to me as best you can, and indeed to the Guardian, because they must be dying to know.
Take a moment. Vote for Tigerman in 2014.
Thank you for your attention.
And now, back to my work. I see a surviving Alastair Niven close by the umbrella stand.