Unofficial TOB 2013 Contest: Statistics

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.

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10 Responses to Unofficial TOB 2013 Contest: Statistics

  1. ttwsglen says:

    Am I missing something or did you choose not to reveal which book was chosen to win most often? Or is it pretty evenly scattered among those 10 books?

    I picked Gone Girl myself, partly because of the hype and partly because of its Zombie potential. But I finished Round House over the weekend and now have my favorite. I’ve read 12 of the books and it’s definitely the book I would like to see win. It just might have the Rooster magic that’s needed to win over the judges too. Its second round match-up with Orphan Master’s Son might decide the entire Tournament.

    • Kerry says:

      The predicted winner is The Orphan Master’s Son, which I hid in the first sentence in the “statistics” section. And I am not being snarky, I had to hunt for it to see if I had mentioned it. On re-reading, I could have done a better job highlighting what is likely the stat most people want to see if they care for the statistics at all.

      I will say others are close behind (Gone Girl, Bring Up the Bodies, and The Round House all have support in the double digits).

      I haven’t read The Round House yet, so now I will look forward to it. But your analysis rings of truth. The Round House has been getting lots of love and is definitely one of the true contenders for the title. The Round House v. Orphan Master’s Son likely is a key match. I will be looking forward to it (and hopefully my number will have come up at the library).

      • ttwsglen says:

        Well, duh. Now that I read it over again I remember seeing it the first time. I don’t know why I didn’t remember it when I first finished reading the post and I guess I didn’t read the top that carefully when I read it over again.

        Round House has a memorable voice, interesting characters, a great intersection of politics, family, race, and crime, and a plot that keeps the reader turning pages. I wish you a speedy turnover of the library hold list and look forward to your take on it!

  2. Amy says:

    Really? You’d pick How Should a Person Be over Arcadia? Really? Really????? Oh, Kerry, Kerry, Kerry…

    • Kerry says:

      I am so sorry to disappoint. This is, for me, a very Lemon Cake vs. Bloodroot pairing. There is nothing terribly wrong with either book. I don’t hate that I read them. But that’s kind of the upside of my reaction. The downside is that I find Arcadia more annoying of the two. I know, I know. You are asking in your head right now: “Compared to How Should a Person Be?!?!?” I don’t have a great explanation other than, perhaps, I expected more from Arcadia, having already steeled myself for disappointment with all the negative reaction towards Heti’s work.

      I am ashamed. But I still hope Arcadia goes down like the heavy favorite Super Sad True Love Story did a couple years ago. That made me happy. I’m sorry, Amy. I really am.

      • Julie says:

        Hate Lemon Cake
        Like Arcadia
        Love Super Sad

        But, while this shows we are all different, How Should Person Be would make me seriously question taste of the judges!!

      • Kerry says:

        I am in a distinct minority in preferring How Should a Person Be to Arcadia. I get that. I am going to seriously think about what this means for me and my relationship to books. I didn’t like Arcadia, though. I can’t say I hated it, but I will hate it if it wins more than one match or, please no, is a Zombie. See how unfair I am? The book wouldn’t have been responsible for any of that, but I would blame it anyway.

  3. Bookish Jojo says:

    oh, i am hoping arcadia has a damn chance! for the love of humanity, make it so – he who knows things! 🙂

    • Kerry says:

      See. As with Lemon Cake, I recognize that Aracadia‘s author has talent and that the book is good enough to have fans. I am not one of them. So even if I could stop stop you from hoping…., no, actually, I would stop you from hoping. Get onboard team Dear Life! Heh.

      • Bookish Jojo says:

        Heh, indeed!! 🙂

        As a Canadian, I should totally be on team ‘Dear Life’, or ‘How Should a Person Be’, for that matter. But they just didn’t hit me the same way as some of the other books in the Tournament. Which makes me sad because I really want to put Alice Munro in my pocket; she’s so damn awesome. Sheila Heti…not so much.

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