STOCKHOLM (AFP): In a year with no clear favourites, Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami appears to be the front-runner to win the Nobel Prize for Literature this week. Murakami, known across the globe for works such as “Norwegian Wood” and “1Q84”, heads the list at bookmaker Ladbrokes with 5/2 odds.  Also near the top of the Ladbrokes list is Canadian Alice Munro with odds of 4/1, and American Joyce Carol Oates with 8/1 odds. Murakami has impressed the critics and won a mass readership with his intricately crafted tales of the absurdity and loneliness of modern life.