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Monday, 24 September, 2001, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
McEwan tops Booker poll
Ian McEwan
McEwan is a previous Booker winner
Ian McEwan's novel Atonement is the favourite to win the 2001 Booker Prize, according to a poll of BBC News Online users.

Almost half of votes submitted to the poll put the previous Booker winner well ahead of the other five shortlisted authors for the prestigious award.

McEwan scooped 42.2% (312) of the votes pushing Australian author Peter Carey into second spot, with 22.7% (168) of votes received for True History of the Kelly Gang.

The Full Story of the Ned Kelly
Carey's novel is the bookies' joint favourite to win
The BBC News Online vote gives a hint as to how the official People's Booker vote may turn out, to be run on BBC Online from 6 October.

The People's Booker results will be televised live on the BBC at the Booker award ceremony on 17 October, alongside the announcement of the Booker winner.

The bookies have put McEwan and Carey as joint favourites for the 21,000 prize.

Odds

The two men have both previously won the award and have odds of 5/2 to win.

More than 700 people cast their votes in the BBC News Online poll, which put Rachel Seiffert - for The Dark Room - as third favourite to win with 10.9% (81) of the votes.

Ali Smith's Hotel World took 10.3% (76) of the votes, compared with David Mitchell - for Number9dream - with 7.8% (58) and Andrew Miller - for Oxygen - with 5.8% (43).

Miller, though, is the bookie's third favourite to win the award with odds of 9/2.

The Booker prize goes to the best full-length novel of the year written by a British, Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland novelist.

Recent winners, such as Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things, and Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient have gone on to sell more than one million copies.

Other winners in the 33-year history of the prize include Kingsley Amis, Pat Barker, Anita Brookner, Roddy Doyle, Kazuo Ishiguro and Salman Rushdie.

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