Thursday, March 29, 2007

Back from the Dead at the Tournament of Books

Over at the Tournament of Books, Gary Shteyngart’s Absurdistan has risen from the dead in the zombie round to claim a berth in the final. In the process, it has vaulted me into third place in the Book Blogger’s Office Pool—a nice change after many days of languishing at or near last place. Click over to the ToB site tomorrow to see which of the two finalists walks away with the coveted Rooster: Cormac McCarthy’s much-vaunted The Road, or the surprise finalist, Gary Shteyngart’s Absurdistan. Given the praise so far lavished on The Road, I fear it will be an uphill battle for Absurdistan. But if Absurdistan wins, so do I. What do I win? Well, nothing actually. But the Morning News reader on whose behalf I have been participating in the Pool stands to win copies of all sixteen of the contending books and it would be a great pleasure to be the instrument by which a fellow reader obtains fabulous free books.

Happy though I am to have been returned to contention in the Pool, I must register an objection to one of the criticisms levelled at Kate Atkinson’s One Good Turn, the book that Absurdistan vanquished today. Judge Rosecrans Baldwin dismissed One Good Turn as “a detective novel for literary folk who don’t like detective novels.” I’m a literary type who loves detective novels, and I think that Kate Atkinson is the bee’s knees.


Anonymous said...

Good luck!! I started to follow along, but got sidetracked...what a surprise! Interestingly, I have heard that Kate Atkinson does not like to be lumped in with the mystery genre. Apparently she doesn not like that label applied to her work. However she classifies her work I like it. And I like msyteries, too!

Kagemusha said...

I have heard so much about Cormac McCarthy's book that now I am having second thoughts about reading... I mean, if it's that good then something has to be wrong with it :-) right? Just kidding, I will probably pick it up this summer.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what "the bee's knees" is, but I love the image!

I'm pleased to pass on to you the "Thinking Blogger Award"; see my post at Thanks for all your thoughtful posts!