British author David Mitchell has been installed as the early favourite to win the Man Booker prize.
David Mitchell was nominated for the Booker prize in 2001 and 2004
The author of rites-of-passage novel Black Swan Green is 5-1 favourite to win the prestigious literary award.
"He thoroughly deserves to win it after being robbed with Cloud Atlas two years ago," said Graham Sharpe, spokesman for bookmakers William Hill.
However, book chain Waterstone's said he would face stiff competition from Sarah Waters and Andrew O'Hagan.
"It's going to be very tight," said a spokesman for the company. "They're writers who've been picking up a huge amount of fans and critical acclaim over their relatively short careers.
"The Booker does like to pick up on that and reward that sort of writing."
Previous winners Peter Carey, Nadine Gordimer and Barry Unsworth are also on the 19-strong longlist.
Unsworth was a joint winner alongside Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient in 1992 with Sacred Hunger, while South African-born Gordimer shared the prize in 1974 with The Conservationist.
Australian Carey - who won in 1988 and 2001 - is second favourite at 6/1 for his novel Theft: A Love Story.
Waters was previously shortlisted for her 2002 novel Fingersmith
Waters' The Night Watch has a 7/1 chance of winning, with Unsworth's The Ruby In Her Navel rated at 8/1.
Howard Jacobson's Kalooki Nights has the fifth-best chance of winning at 10/1, according to William Hill.
Hermione Lee, chair of the Booker judges, said judging the entries was "emotional".
"We've tried to be careful and critical judges as well as being passionately involved," she said.
"We're delighted by the variety, the originality, the drama and craft, the human interest and the strong voices in this longlist."
The Booker shortlist will be published on 14 September and the winner will be announced on 10 October.
Irish writer John Banville won the award last year for The Sea.
However, his follow-up novel - a thriller written under the pseudonym Benjamin Black - did not make the longlist.
Carey last won the prize for his novel True History of the Kelly Gang
The Waterstone's spokesman also expressed surprise that other previous winners like DBC Pierre and Roddy Doyle were excluded.
He also said it was "a great shame" that Mark Haddon, author of Whitbread winner The Curious Incident Of The Dog in the Night-Time, did not make the longlist with his new work, A Spot of Bother.
The 19 novels on this year's longlist are:
Peter Carey - Theft: A Love StoryKiran Desai - The Inheritance of LossRobert Edric - Gathering the WaterNadine Gordimer - Get a LifeKate Grenville - The Secret RiverMJ Hyland - Carry Me DownHoward Jacobson - Kalooki Nights James Lasdun - Seven LiesMary Lawson - The Other Side of the BridgeJon McGregor - So Many Ways to BeginHisham Matar - In the Country of MenClaire Messud - The Emperor's ChildrenDavid Mitchell - Black Swan GreenNaeem Murr - The Perfect ManAndrew O'Hagan - Be Near MeJames Robertson - The Testament of Gideon MackEdward St Aubyn - Mother's MilkBarry Unsworth - The Ruby in her NavelSarah Waters - The Night Watch