Unofficial ToB Contest: Round 1, Match 3

Current Leaderboard:

With two heavy favorites winning as expected, the top is crowded. Because he was the first to submit his entry, I will give the yellow jersey to blogger Kevin from Canada. To the other 30 or so co-leaders, congrats!

The predicted winner of tomorrow’s match: The Finkler Question

Contest Entrants’ Choices: 55% The Finkler Question vs. 45% Savages

This is another case where I picked the book I read over the one I have not. The Finkler Question is one of several highly regarded books in the ToB with high negatives. Savages has a chance with its balls-to-the-wall pacing and gimmicky…er…innovative narrative techniques. I have a feeling that, after completing both novels, I will respect The Finkler Question more than Savages, but respect doesn’t deliver the poultry. I think Savages can pull the upset. Contest entrants do too, making this Match tied for the closest call in the First Round of the Tournament. Anything could happen…..but I am starting to think I should not have gone underdog here.


9 Responses to Unofficial ToB Contest: Round 1, Match 3

  1. I am delighted to have the jersey for a day or two, but I suspect I won’t be wearing it when the going really counts.

    I did think today’s review by Ms. Weiner was one of the best that I have read in a long time. Given the problems to ToB had with reviewers last year, we have had two exceptionally good ones to kick of this year’s tournament.

    And now I find myself in the embarrassing position of cheering for The Finkler Question, one of only two books that I abandoned last year. Sigh.

    • Kerry says:

      It is impossible to tell, at this point, how things will shake out. The Zombie Round prevents much increase in confidence even if your rivals’ favorites are knocked early. The first round scoring is really only important for the margins at the end if you happen to pick the finalists and winner correctly.

      I do agree that Jennifer Weiner did a good job. It is refreshing to see two well-considered decisions early. Maybe they put the word out that viewers were in near revolt last year after a couple poor judge’s showings.

      It is always dangerous to pick books/teams you would rather not see advance. A fan divided against himself is unhappy.

  2. And I agree that the first two reviews this year are light years ahead of last year’s rather dismal efforts.

    I sure would not want to be the guy who has to decide between Freedom and Room. I think I’d want a nearby foxhole.

    • Kerry says:

      A “boring” (in terms of upsets) first round guarantees an exciting second round. Freedom vs. Room promises to be delicious. I hope the judge is up to the task.

  3. The Finkler Question versus Skippy Dies (yes, I am giving away my picks) is every bit as interesting. On the other hand, it is too bad that so many of the “name” books are in the top half of the bracket.

    Then again, that makes the Zombie choices more interesting. Certainly, I am finding this year’s contest much more challenging than last year.

    • Kerry says:

      I think a second round match of Finkler vs. Goon/Skippy will be very good too. And, yes, this sets up Freedom/Room v. Finkler/Goon/Skippy. Meanwhile, the bottom half of the bracket lacks any book with the gravitas of at least four of those five.

      The Zombies should be quite interesting. I can’t remember if I threw my vote away on Kapitoil prior to reading it or went with one of the bigger names. I hope Skippy and Goon are the top two vote getters so we will see Thursday’s loser at least once more.

  4. Jenny says:

    I’d be curious to hear why you abandoned “Finkler.”

    I wish I would have abandoned it, but read it out a missplaced faith that the “Booker Prize Winner” bestowed upon it. I thought it was awful. I think we’re ready for an upset and hope it’s Savages. A book that I know was only mediocre, but at least was a hell of a lot of fun to read.

  5. Jenny: I abandoned it in anger on page 202 — for me the whole book had turned into a tiresome lecture on Jewishness. I didn’t find the book “comic” and agree with the ToB judge and commentators who found the characters weak and uninteresting. My full rant about Finkler can be found here:

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