First, the lies: I don’t mind if my picks stink.
The damn lies: I don’t care which book wins the TOB.
The statistics: The Orphan Master’s Son is the odds on favorite (22%) to win, but not nearly the lock that 2012’s The Tiger’s Wife (27%) was…oops…not nearly the lock that 2012’s The Art of Fielding (27%) was…oops oops. Well then. So am I saying Ivyland still has a chance? No. Only 6% pick it to make it out of the first round and no one thinks it will go any farther than that. Ouch.
First Round Favorites:
Gone Girl – 94%
Arcadia – 88%
The Orphan Master’s Son – 84%
Beautiful Ruins – 81%
Bring Up the Bodies – 81%.
This tells me Arcadia (also published in special edition TOB mass market paperbacks as 2013’s Lemon Cake) is mismatched. It should have faced The Fault in Our Stars, which would have bludgeoned it because I know these things. Then again, I have predicted How Should a Person Be? has what it takes to beat Arcadia.
Second Round Favorites:
Bring Up the Bodies – 69%.
Gone Girl – 56%
The Orphan Master’s Son – 53%
Most Likely to Be a Zombie:
The Fault in Our Stars – Few pick it to earn its way there (6%), but 63% of you think it will claw its way out of an early grave.
Gone Girl – While plenty think it will fly through on merit (56%), a full 16% think it has the stench to rise again if necessary.
Most Likely to Lose After Making It to the Finals:
Gone Girl – 19% of entrants think it will make it to the last dance but wrong foot the big finish.
Ten different books are believed by entrants to have a shot at a bucket of fried chicken, gratis. Which, of course, means about half of the books have been counted out before we’ve even gotten a good start.
The statistics mean something, because Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk was the prohibitive favorite (62%) to escape the play-in and it did.
Or they don’t, because 2012 saw long shot The Sisters Brothers (Finals votes: 1) take home the poultry. Don’t count yourself out, Arcadia. You do have a chance. Damn it.