“The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, steady business.”
As the Nobel Prize announcement nears, the pace is picking up in both speculations and wagering. The cheerily named NicerOdds (owned by one Håkan Klingén, whose first diacritic suggests an inner track to the Academy) has aggregated odds from the various books, useful for tracking both usual suspects and outliers. Over at The Literary Saloon at the Complete Review, Michael Orthofer kicks off the season with a typically thorough commentary, noting that shifting odds and sudden appearances over the next few weeks may reflect intel leaked from the Academy’s deliberations. The leaderboard is essentially unchanged from 2015: perennial favorite Haruki Murakami (as Time sniffed one year: “The bettors always bet on Murakami, and they always lose”) is at 6:1 across the board, with Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, and Ismail Kadare repeating among the top ten. Unibet has Adonis in second place; Ladbrokes has Javier Marías in the tenth slot; and Estonia’s Doris Kareva debuts on both lists. With the Frankfurt Book Fair unusually late this year, the date of the announcement is uncertain, but there’s still plenty of time to place your wager here.
Image: Horse race. Creative Commons.