Oddly Enough

Cheese beats Baboon Metaphysics in odd book prize

LONDON (Reuters) - The prize for oddest book title of 2008 was awarded to “The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais,” thanks to a late surge in popularity, The Bookseller magazine said Friday.

Philip M. Parker’s “Fromage Frais,” which literally means “fresh cheese” in French, beat out titles such as “Baboon Metaphysiscs,” “Curbside Consultation of the Colon,” and “Strip and Knit with Style” in the annual competition run by the British magazine.

According to online bookstore, Parker’s book costs a stunning $795. The website gives no indication as to what it is about, but it takes up to two months to deliver.

“I’m thrilled that the public steered clear of smut... and turned the supermarket chiller into the Petri dish of literary innovation,” said Horace Bent, custodian of the prize.

Parker’s book claimed first place with 32 percent of the 5,034 votes cast on, beating out early favorite “Techniques for Corrosion Monitoring.”

“Baboon Metaphysics” placed second with 22 percent of the vote, while “Colon” trailed close behind with 18 percent.

The prize was dreamed up at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 1978 as a way of avoiding boredom. Past winners have included titles such as “Bombproof Your Horse” (2004), “Butterworths Corporate Manslaughter Service” (2001), and “Reusing Old Graves” (1995).

Reporting by Catherine Bosley; Editing by Mark Trevelyan