You Bet 4th Time Lucky For Barnes at Booker
Following the announcement of the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize shortlist, bookmakers William Hill have cut favourite Julian Barnes from 3/1 to 6/4 favourite to scoop the prize at the fourth time of asking. The main competition would appear to come from Carol Birch, who's novel Jamrach's Menagerie is 7/2 to win.
"Our literary punters think that this may be the year for Barnes to finally come good and this is backed up by the fact that the judges at the announcement suggested it was Barnes' best work to date," said Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe.
Hills were relieved that the shortlist did not contain the early favourite, Alan Hollinghurst, or the well backed, racing-themed, Derby Day.
"Hills are expecting a six figure turnover on the prize and would prefer to see anyone other than Julian Barnes announced the winner. Barnes would be one of the biggest Booker losers ever but seeing as we have never had to pay out on him being runner up, we should have enough in reserve to pay out should he win," added Sharpe.
6/4 Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape - Random House)
7/2 Carol Birch Jamrach's Menagerie (Canongate Books)
5/1 AD Miller Snowdrops (Atlantic)
6/1 Esi Edugyon Half Blood Blues (Serpent's Tail - Profile)
6/1 Stephen Kelman Pigeon English (Bloomsbury)
7/1 Patrick de Witt The Sisters Brothers (Granta)