At last, the 2006 Tournament of Books has arrived at its Final Four, and today we’re taking a breakan armistice if you willto finally reveal the twist
in this year’s competition.
Perhaps you have forgotten that we promised a twist.
Many of you have written to tell us that you were disappointed, even furiousmadder’n a monkey in messy mascara
, as one of you put itwhen your favorite book fell in competition. Literature is such a matter of taste it didn’t seem fair to you that a much-loved novel was foiled in its pursuit of the coveted Rooster on the casual whim of a single judge.
And we agree.
That’s why, for a certain pair of books you thought were long gone, this competition is about to become double elimination.
Before the ToB started, we asked TMN readers to tell us their favorite reads of 2005, and we used those votes to select two entrants, Ian McEwan’s Saturday
, and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
. At the time, we explained that these books did not necessarily receive the most votes overall, but they received the most votes of any books not already selected for the competition.
We haven’t forgotten the two novels that TMN readers did
name as their absolute favorites, however, andas it happensboth of those books were eliminated in the opening two rounds.
Tomorrow and Monday, Brigid Hughes and Dale Peck will whittle the current Final Four down to two. But then, before those books can advance to the finals, they will need to get past the top two reader favorites. In other words, we are not really down to a Final Four, but rather a Sexy Six. There will be a second
semi-final after this one, in which two books thought to be dead in this tournament will miraculously rise from the grave. Call it the Zombie Round
Judging this new round will be TMN editors Rosecrans Baldwin and Andrew Womack.
The History of Love, Home Land, The Accidental
are poised to do battle over the next few days, but there will be little rest for the winners.
A reanimated Zadie SmithOn Beauty
(readers’ pick no. 1)and a resuscitated Jonathan Safran FoerExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close
(readers’ pick no. 2)await. If this all seems too confusing, check out the revised brackets PDF
. See you tomorrow.