What will the ultimate Booker book represent under the gaze of eternity? Should Ian McEwan's Amsterdam, perhaps his least interesting book, win it, or Graham Swift's Last Orders, when their much better (and shortlisted) works, Atonement and Waterland, failed to win?
And will the vote in July reveal a true literary masterpiece, or just the prize-winner that most appealed to public taste? If so, then Roddy Doyle's Dublin comedy Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha should be in with a shout, as should Yann Martel's unclassifiable Life of Pi.
If there were any justice, the overall prize should go to Barry Unsworth's awe-inspiring 1992 joint winner, Sacred Hunger. If I were a betting man, I'd choose Martell, Rushdie, Roy, JM Coetzee's Disgrace, Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day and Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty to make the final six.