I won’t profess to have an inkling of how the Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded. There is a process, though, one that involves some intricate alchemy of prestige + output + quality + notability + blood sacrifice and whatever else. This year, Ladbrokes is giving Haruki Murakami the best odds to capture the prestigious accomplishment, on top of other recognizable authors like Cormac McCarthy, Philip Roth and Alice Munro. (All the way down at 100:1 odds: Jonathan Franzen, LOL.) Murakami’s finishing the victory lap from the release of last year’s 1Q84, which was enthralling and lucid in his trademark style and would make him a relevant pick. Of course, the Nobel doesn’t cotton to relevancy; they cotton to the muse. As the Literary Saloon notes, Ladbrokes also rated last year’s victor—Tomas Transtromer—as an early favorite to win, which means their pick of Murakami might prove wise. Plus, there’s really no way to defeat the purpose of literature and the Nobel Prize than by betting on it. It’s like a little capitalist middle finger to the world. The announcement will come sometime in October.