By October 10, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Nobel Prize Odds Announced

It’s that time of year. Ladbrokes, the London oddsmaker, has posted odds on the Nobel Prize for Literature, to be announced Oct. 11. I’m happy to say that my horse in this race, brilliant Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, is the overwhelming favorite at 6-4. This year’s shortlist of contenders–along with lots of writers relatively little known to American readers–includes William Trevor at 7-1, Alice Munro at 8-1, and Thomas Pynchon at 12-1. Philip Roth, the Ron Santo of Nobel contenders (always in the middle of the pack) checks in at 16-1. Santo finally made it to the special Old Timer’s Wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame after he died. Maybe the Nobel folks need to consider adding a wing for their also-rans. The most curious Nobel contender on Ladbrokes’ lit list is Bob Dylan, slotted at 10-1, considerably better odds than Roth! I guess it took a bunch of Scandinavian judges to recognize the rich ambiguity in lyrics like “Look out Kid / Don’t matter what you did / Walk on your tip toes / Don’t try No Doz.”

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After more than 30 years at Booklist, editor and publisher Bill Ott continues to edit the crime fiction section of the magazine and still delights in discovering new hard-boiled writers.

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