Unofficial TOB 2013 Contest: Leaderboard – End of Round 3

March 26, 2013


Match 3, Round 2
Gone Girl thrilled over Beautiful Ruins.

Match 4, Round 2
How Should a Person Be? was a question left unanswered by Bring Up the Bodies

Match 1, Round 3
Building Stories disappeared The Orphan Master’s Son

Match 2, Round 3
Gone Girl denied the premise of How Should a Person Be?

Leaderboard – End of Round 3

1. (17 points) Christopher H.

2. (16 points) Linda J., Neil R., Felicity, Jeremy Z., Kerry H.

7. (15 points) Mike R.

8. (14 points) Jane Eyre, Jayme G., Julie W., Jed S., Amy C.

Other contenders (Current/Max Points):

Michelle W. (12/28), Diane H. (13/25), Melanie C. (13/25), Jennifer N. (13/25)

I regret to inform you that if your name does not appear above, you have been mathematically eliminated.

Interestingly, no one has picked Building Stories to take it all. I have to think there might be regrets about that. It seems very likely to make the Finals, but can only play spoiler, not king-maker, now. A Building Stories win will force a tie-breaker decision.

Only one contestant still in contention picked The Fault in Our Stars for the Rooster. If it wins, she does.

The Orphan Master’s Sons contingent is the largest and Gone Girl booster club nearly as populous. The precise winner, in the event either of these prevails, will be determined by tie-breakers.

Good luck!


Unofficial TOB 2013 Contest: Leaderboard – Round 2, Match 2

March 20, 2013


Match 1, Round 2
The Orphan Master’s Son prevails over The Fault in Our Stars.

Match 2, Round 2
Building Stories stings May We Be Forgiven

Leaderboard – Round 2, Match 2

1. (Ten points) Neil R., Jed S.

2. (Nine points) Christopher H., Dianne H., Mike R.

3. (Eight points) Lydia P., Jane Eyre, Jayme G., Susan S., Linda J., Julie W., Felicity, Jeremy Z., Jim M., Kerry H.

The leaderboard has been re-shuffled. More of that is likely to come. While Gone Girl and Bring Up the Bodies are the most commonly picked winners of the next two matches, there are dissenters, particularly at the top. If the expected happens, we will have new leaders and an even bigger logjam.

(Having read neither of today’s contenders, I have no comment. I was, obviously, happy to see The Orphan Master’s Son advance.)

Unofficial TOB 2013 Contest: Leaderboard – End of Round 1

March 18, 2013

It turns out that, if your favorite is out and it isn’t either Arcadia or Where’d You Go, Bernadette, then your dreams of Rooster-prognostication glory are pretty much over. Sorry. Those are potential Zombies from the so-far eliminated. This means Dear Life, the book I enjoyed most but was wise enough not to invest my Rooster-hopes in, is gone from the TOB for good. So much worse for the TOB.


Match 6, Round 1
Beautiful Ruins (84%) beat The Song of Achilles (16%) as was expected.

Match 7, Round 1
Bring Up the Bodiesl (84%) advanced against HHhH (16%)

Match 8, Round 1
How Should a Person Be? (12%) upset Arcadia (88%)

Leaderboard – End of Round 1

1. (Perfect: Eight points) Linda J.

2.. (Seven points) Christopher H., Mike R.

6. (Six points) Jed S., Susan S., Jane Eyre, Lydia P., Jayme G., Neil R., Julie W., Felicity, Andrew B., Jeremy Z., Jim M., Kerry H. (me!)

Things are getting exciting. How long can Linda stay perfect? Will Chris or Mike be able to capitalize if she does misstep? Is there a hero among the large, hungry group of six-pointers? Yes, yes, excitement galore and only by the slow release of fowl judgments will these questions be answered. The tension is finger lickin’ good.

Um, anyway, the second round odds:

The Orphan Master’s Son 9-1 favorite over The Fault in Our Stars

Building Stories a 3-1 favorite over May We Be Forgiven

Gone Girl over Beautiful Ruins, 3-1.

Bring Up the Bodies over How Should a Person Be?, 1,000,000-1. (Actually, infinity-to-one, but let’s say there’s a chance.)

I will say that we seem, collectively, to underestimate The Fault in Our Stars, but I hope not. Everything else looks pretty accurate to me and, given my picks, would suit me as well as it is possible to be suited at this point. Not Armani, but still pretty nice.

Unofficial TOB 2013 Contest: Leaderboard – Round 1, Match 5

March 13, 2013

Collectively, contest entrants are 3-2 in picking the TOB. And that includes in the “correct” column the virtual tossup between Building Stories and Dear Life. Why is it so hard to pick TOB winners? (Nevermind that Linda J. rejects the premise.)


Match 4, Round 1
May We Be Forgiven (26%) pulled an upset over Billy Lynn’s Long Half Time Walk (74%)

Match 5, Round 1
Gone Girl (97%) easily bested Ivyland (3%)

Leaderboard – Round 1, Match 5

1. (Perfect: Six points) Linda J.,

2.. (Five points) Mike R., Jed S., Christopher H., Susan S., Jane Eyre,

6. (Four points) Jennifer N., Lydia P., Jayme G., Neil R., Julie W., Felicity, Andrew B., Jeremy Z.

With Gone Girl‘s widely expected victory, no one can match the record low of one point. Plenty are still in it with 2 points though. I am barely caught in the middle with three points.

The final three matches of the first round are all predicted by 80-20 margins or greater. And blemish-free Linda J. has gone with the overdog in each of those matches. That means upsets provide fertile ground for a rankings shake-up.

Unofficial TOB 2013 Contest: Leaderboard – Round 1, Match 3 Results

March 11, 2013

That didn’t take long. I’m out.

The thing is, words can hurt. They can hurts in lots of ways, but especially when the words Charles Yu writes in his bracket are different than the words I write in my bracket. It’s like my words don’t exist, like they fell from my lips into the void that awaits us all with its depth, its darkness, and, most of all, its chilly indifference.


Match 2, Round 1
The Orphan Master’s Son (84%) beat Where’d You Go Bernadette (16%)

Match 3, Round 1
Building Stories (56%) advanced on a technicality over Dear Life (44%)

Leaderboard – Round 1, Match 3

1. (Perfect: Four points) Mike R., Christopher H., Linda J., Susan S.

5. (Three points) Lydia P., Jane Eyre, Jayme G., Neil R., Julie W., Jed S., Felicity, Andrew B., Jeremy Z.

Also, seven contestants could still tie the all-time worst score of one. But I won’t get anybody’s hopes up by naming names until we at least get out of the first round.

Congratulations to the slightly shrunken lead group. Yellow draws attention, as do positive tests for performance enhancing drugs (acid, I presume, because that’s what you’d have to be dropping to prefer Building Stories to Dear Life and this doesn’t mean I am bitter), so watch your backs.

Unofficial TOB 2013 Contest: Round 1, Match 1 Results

March 7, 2013

After the play-in and the first match of Round 1, there is one expected result (by you and most people with a clue, not by me) and one upset (sort of). I have read only one of the five books involved, so any opinion on my part would be uninformed. I haven’t developed either a loathing or a love for any of the five books, so am not yet emotionally invested in the results. Well, except that I think this gives The Orphan Master’s Son an easier route into the Zombie Round. This is a good thing.

Leaderboard after Match 1, Round 1:

1. Two points – Mike R., Christopher H., Linda J., Susan S., and Lydia P.

6. One point – Lots.

Congratulations to our five leaders.

There will be a leaderboard update after tomorrow’s match only if The Orphan Master’s Son loses, because, like 84% of contestants, the leaders all went safe with Johnson’s excellent book. If they remain leaders through the weekend, they will start to differentiate themselves on Monday. They are not unanimous in preferring Building Stories over Dear Life.

Unofficial TOB 2013 Contest: Statistics

March 6, 2013

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.