British writer Julian Barnes, has won the Man Booker Prize despite once describing the award as "posh bingo".
Barnes, 65, a finalist on three previous occasions, won this year with his novel The Sense of an Ending, about a middle-aged man forced to confront buried truths about his past.
He was presented with the £50,000 prize at the Guildhall in London on Tuesday.
Chairwoman Dame Stella Rimington said the novel had "the markings of a classic of English literature".
She described the novel as "exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each reading".
Barnes was previously nominated for Flaubert's Parrot (1984), England, England (1998) and Arthur and George in (2005).
Dame Stella said the five judges had reached a final, unanimous decision after about half an hour of debate on Tuesday.