The short list:
Pat Barker's The Ghost Road (1995, Viking; paperback Penguin)
Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda (1988, Faber & Faber; paperback Faber)
JM Coetzee's Disgrace (1999, Secker & Warburg; paperback Vintage)
JG Farrell's The Siege of Krishnapur (1973, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, paperback Phoenix)
Nadine Gordimer's The Conservationist (1974, Cape; paperback Bloomsbury)
Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children (1981, Cape; paperback Vintage)
The shortlist was selected by a panel of judges - the biographer, novelist and critic Victoria Glendinning, (Chair); writer and broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, and John Mullan, Professor of English at University College, London.
Victoria Glendinning comments: 'It was a great experience, revisiting all the Booker and Man Booker Prize winners, and very tough arriving at the shortlist - but we really feel that the six novels we picked represent the best fiction-writing of the past 40 years and that each one of them will stand the test of time. As to which of the six is the most important, and the most enjoyable, the Best of Booker - that is up to the readers to decide.'
The winner will be chosen by the public and voting begins today to find 'The Best of the Booker' novel.
These all look like worthy contenders. I've only read three of them, but my money's on Midnight's Children.