Unofficial ToB 2011 Contest: Zombie Round Update

Current Leaderboard:

1. (23/28) Mike
2. (22/28) Jim
3. (21/28) Jed
4. (19/28) Christy, Kathryn
5. (18/28) Greg
6. (16/28) Elizabeth
7. (tie) (15/28) David, Jeremy, Laura
10. (tie) (14/28) Darren, Felicity, Lillian

If you are not on this list, the brass ring has slipped your fingers.

My preferred winner of Zombie Match One (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake v. A Visit From the Goon Squad): A Visit From the Goon Squad

Lemon Cake has been stumbling through the Tournament like a lame zebra across the Serengeti. While A Visit From the Goon Squad lost its first fight against Freedom for pride and dominance, it is still a lion. This is the round of the Zombies. Let them eat cake!

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3 Responses to Unofficial ToB 2011 Contest: Zombie Round Update

  1. I’m finding this year’s ToB interesting, because (as the commentators all but admit today) it seems to me tilted towards “the middle” — strange territory for what is supposed to be the off-the-wall book competition.

    I’ve read three of the four in the Zombie round (all but Lemon Cake) and in the forum where I do provide stars, all received three out of five. In my mental criteria, that means “okay” — flawed but carrying enough ambition (Franzen), innovation (Egan) or execution (Donoghue) to warrant finishing the book. With all three, not good enough to recommend to very many people.

    The two I liked best (Murray and Gordon) got eliminated in round one for reasons I understand but, for me, both rated higher in ambition, innovation and execution than any of the four Zombie round books.

    All this despite the fact that this year’s judging opinions have been outstanding (I actually liked and appreciated the musician’s one that commentors there did not).

    What I’d love to see is what I’ll call a pro-wrestling version ToB. Put eight “conventional”, well-hyped novels in the top bracket, and eight off-the-wall or innovative ones in the other. The best hero to meet the best “villain” in the final.

    • Kerry says:

      I absolutely agree about the ToB being tilted toward the middle and that the judges’ opinions have been outstanding.

      I love your idea of eight “conventional” novels on one side and eight innovative ones in the other. For instance, I am okay with some genre stuff (like the Savages thriller, something sci-fi maybe) and then things like Orion You Came And You Took All My Marbles by Kira Henehan which is delightfully off the wall and much more interesting than a competent but unexciting domestic drama like Model Home (the latter slot already filled by Freedom anyway). I think it might be helped by having some a translated work or two in the “villains” side of the bracket.

      Also, the audience might know which group they would rather explore, so the less adventurous can stick with Lemon Cake, Next, etc.

      As you know, I’d be happy to help or partner in any such fiction competition.

      • Jennifer D. says:

        I am a huge fan of reading translations, nice idea adding them in to Kevin’s proposed methodology. Hmm…maybe a HLtW edition of the Madness?? “It’s ON October”, for example?

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