LONDON (Reuters) - English author and bookmakers favourite Julian Barnes finally won the Man Booker Prize for fiction on Tuesday, despite once dismissing the coveted award as posh bingo. The 65-year-old triumphed with The Sense of an Ending, which at 150 pages was described by one review as a novella. It was his fourth time on the Booker shortlist Barnes was previously nominated for Flauberts Parrot in 1984, England, England in 1998 and Arthur and George in 2005. Stella Rimington, a former British spy chief who chaired the panel of judges this year, told reporters, We thought that it was a book which, though short, was incredibly concentrated, and crammed into this very short space a great deal of information you dont get out of a first reading. Its one of these books, a very readable book, if I may use that word, but readable not only once but twice and even three times. Ion Trewin, administrator of the prize, said it was not the shortest work to win the Booker. That honour goes to Penelope Fitzgeralds Offshore which came in at 132 pages in 1979. Barnes, who has been critical of the prize in the past, said he was relieved to have won at the fourth attempt. In his acceptance speech at a glitzy awards ceremony in Londons medieval Guildhall, he likened himself to Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges, considered one of the greatest authors never to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Borges, when asked, as he continually was, why he had never won the Nobel Prize, always used to reply that 'In Sweden there was a small cottage industry solely devoted to not giving Borges the Nobel Prize. And at times over the last years, in occasional moments of mild paranoia, I wondered whether there wasnt perhaps some similar sister organization operating over here. So I am as much relieved as I am delighted to receive the 2011 Booker Prize. Barnes received a check for 50,000 pounds ($80,000), a flurry of media attention and, perhaps most importantly, a major boost in sales. Writers it tends to drive mad with hope and lust and greed and expectation, he told reporters after receiving the award. I was saying that the best way to stay sane is to treat it as if its posh bingo. That is ... until you win it, when you realize that the judges are the wisest heads in literary Christendom.