This year, said Julie Bosman in The New York Times, the Man Booker Prize “shortlist attracted more attention for who was not on it”—Salman Rushdie. The fact that the heavyweight author’s latest book The Enchantress of Florence wasn’t even nominated for “the most prestigious award for literary fiction in the English-speaking world” shocked some British critics and delighted others.

It is kind of surprising, said Carolyn Kellogg in the Los Angeles Times online, considering that “earlier this year, Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children was selected as the Best of the Bookers as part of the prize’s 40th anniversary.” But “seniority” may have worked against him—two of the six nominees “are first-time novelists.”

“What a relief,” said Kate Saunders in the Times Online. “Now I won’t feel obliged to read The Enchantress of Florence.” And besides, Rushdie’s an “old windbag these days”—I’m glad he didn’t “make this year’s young, sexy, colorful shortlist.”