It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, one of the most prestigious English literature prizes and the oldest prize in the United Kingdom.
The novel won the Book of the Year at the 2008 Costa Awards,. This was despite the misgivings of the jury, one of whom, Matthew Parris said "They agreed that it was flawed, and almost no one liked the ending, which was almost fatal to its success"
At the Irish Book Awards, it won "Novel of the Year" and the Choice Award.
It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, narrowly losing to The White Tiger