Last week the UK gambling site Ladbrokes stopped taking bets on the Man Booker Prize (to be announced Oct. 12) when shortlisted novelist Tom McCarthy’s C suddenly earned £15,000 of bets in a single day–as if the gambling world knew something the literary world didn’t
According to the Guardian, Ladbrokes spokesperson David Williams was befuddled by this rush of bets McCarthy’s novel. The book tells the story of a troubled young genius during the early years of the 20th Century. While gamblers furiously chased odds last week for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa defied the odds to win.
Williams had this statement: “This year there wasn’t really a standout name among the six shortlisted candidates, no Rushdie or Banville, so you’d expect to see a good spread of business, with a few people having a £10 bet on him or her … [then] every single bet started striking on one man. It wouldn’t be so surprising if there were a Rushdie in the race, but with respect, in this case it was borderline inexplicable and we decided to pull the plug.”