To Arab readers Mahfouz does in fact have a distinctive voice, which displays a remarkable mastery of language yet does not call attention to itself. But in English he sounds like each of his translators, most of whom (with one or two exceptions) are not stylists and, I am sorry to say, appear not to have completely understood what he is really about.
This is after bookmaker Ladbrokes came out with their odds for the 2010 prize, placing Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer square at the top.
I saw this bit of speculation (Khoury and Oz) not in a major newspaper or magazine, where "Nobel 2010" handicapping hasn't yet begun, but on World Literature Forum, from reader peter_d. Perhaps peter_d isn't in the know, but it got me thinking about the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature, which should be announced in October.