Your Betting Guide to the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature

The world's premier gambling event, the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature, happens on Thursday. Who's gonna win? Bob Dylan? (No.) Here are your betting odds!

The top 10 contenders as of this morning, according to international oddsmakers Ladbrokes, are:

Adonis (Syria): 4/1
Tomas Tranströmer (Sweden): 7/1
Haruki Murakami (Japan): 8/1
Bob Dylan (U.S.): 10/1
Assia Djebar (Algeria): 12/1
Peter Nadas (Hungary): 12/1
Ko Un (South Korea): 14/1
Les Murray (Australia): 16/1
Thomas Pynchon (U.S.): 20/1
Philip Roth (U.S.): 20/1
Nuruddin Farah (Somalia): 20/1

(If you've heard of many more than half of those people, you are more well-read than us.)

Your Betting Guide to the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature

The New Yorker says Syrian poet Ali Ahmad Said Asar is the safe bet in part because "his selection could be seen as a nod of solidarity to the Arab Spring." Then there's Bob Dylan, who is definitely not going to win the Nobel Prize, but wouldn't it be such a smack in the face to all these serious novelists and poets if he did? It's like, you may as well give it to the writers of Arrested Development.

The Complete Review, which each year produces insanely exhaustive predictions, offers this more general hint:

The 6 October announcement date — the earliest possible — suggest an 'easy' decision, i.e. agreement was presumably reached fairly easily (since there wasn't extended debate), which I would suggest means the choice is not a very controversial one — i.e. more likely, say, Amos Oz than Peter Handke.

So, go bet all of your money on Amos Oz, who has been given 25-1 odds by Ladbrokes. Slim odds, but last year's winner, Portuguese Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa was just as much of a longshot and wasn't even included in Ladbrokes' top 10.

[Photo of Bob Dylan via Getty]