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Will Self made favourite for Man Booker Prize

12th September 2012

Will Self has been made the favourite to win the 2012 Man Booker Prize after being shortlisted for the prestigious award for the first time.

The author and journalist is nominated for Umbrella, his ninth novel, which follows the life of a misdiagnosed woman in a London mental hospital and has been described by many critics as his most accessible work to date.

Self is 7/4 to finally win the Booker on October 16th, though he will face stiff competition from Hilary Mantel, the 2009 winner, whose latest book Bring Up the Bodies is a continuation of the life of Thomas Cromwell, the protagonist from 2009's acclaimed Wolf Hall.

Mantel is currently 2/1 to become only the fourth writer to win the Man Booker Prize twice and the very first female author to do so.

Malaysian writer Tan Twan Eng's The Garden of Evening Mists is the 5/1 third favourite to win the prize, followed by debut author Alison Moore's The Lighthouse and Deborah Levy's Swimming Home, which both sit at 7/1.

The rank outsider to win the 2012 Man Booker Prize is Jeet Thayil, whose first novel Narcopolis is 10/1 to triumph.

Graham Sharpe, a spokesman at William Hill, pointed out that Wolf Hall was the heaviest-backed Booker winner ever before its 2009 triumph, but noted that such support for Bring Up the Bodies has yet to be seen.

'The hefty bets which poured in for Wolf Hall have not yet been replicated - maybe people think that being such a recent winner could work against Mantel,' he suggested.

Most people appear to believe that Self is a firm bet for the award and, as such, have put their money where their mouth is, which would make a victory for Umbrella an 'expensive result'.

As Mr Sharpe added: 'Many literary punters believe he is overdue the accolade of being a winner of this prize.'

The triumphant author will be announced at London's Guildhall and receive GBP 50,000, with the other shortlisted candidates each receiving GBP 2,500.

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