The Guardian notes that Ladbrokes and William Hill share Philip Hensher’s hunch for the Booker shortlist, which is to be unveiled next week. ‘Hunch’ isn’t the right word. Hensher wrote in these pages a fortnight ago:
‘The shortlist should comprise McCann, Tóibín, Mendelson, Crace, House and Catton. House’s novel is the one you ought to read, and Mendelson’s the one that everyone will read and love. The prize will go to Crace.’
For the record then, Hensher’s shortlist would be: TransAtlantic by Colum McCann, The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín, Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson, Harvest by Jim Crace, The Kills by Richard House and The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, with the prize going to Crace.
At the time of writing, these are the odds at William Hill:
And here are the odds at Ladbrokes:
The money says that, as Hensher put it, Crace is ‘long overdue’. Good luck to everyone.