DAVID took on Goliath yesterday when three first-time authors found themselves up against literary heavyweights on the longlist of the £50,000 Man Booker Prize. The publishing debut of Harry Thompson made such a dramatic impact on the Booker judges with his historical novel about Charles Darwin, This Thing Of Darkness, that they considered him worthy of comparison with J.M. Coetzee, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 as well as the Booker in 1983 and 1999. In what was perceived as a particularly strong year for literature, this year’s list included Salman Rushdie, who won the “Booker of Bookers” for Midnight’s Children in 1993. This time, he has been longlisted for his forthcoming Shalimar the Clown, which is to be published next month.