Thursday, March 14, 2013

Are you watching the Morning News Tournament of Books?

I've been following, the first time, the Morning News Tournament of Books with great interest. As of now, I have no clue as to how they get their books for the 'tournament' except that they are all published in 2012. But I see they have excellent judges on board - great literary tasters - and I'm enjoying their words to such an extent that some of their observations I find myself copying  in a separate notebook.

It’s a reminder of what fiction has the power to do: Change the way you see the world. It’s a book that warrants close reading (by everyone) and it’s one that we’ll still be reading 50 years from now. And it’s the clear winner in this round. Where’d You Go, Bernadette can’t compete with the ambition and scope of The Orphan Master’s Son.

This is  Elliot Halt writing about The Orphan Master's Son. I wonder if any reviewer would be so much open and generous about a book today..

Equally interesting is the match commentary between Kevin Guilfoile and John Warner, both novelists, but great readers at the same time. You get gem in their conversation, and I'm simply blown away by their intelligent and incisive dissection and interpretation of novels with their individual but insightful approaches.

 What impresses me is that Homes can get me to take these people seriously as they ricochet from oddness to oddness. I see her as a kind of post-post-modernist. There’s something Pynchonian about her book, but rather than swallowing the world and leaving us a black hole, like Pynchon does, Homes lets some light escape. It’s considerably more hopeful than some of her previous work, which I think disappointed some of her longtime fans, but I thought it was her best book yet.

 I highly recommend this tournament -for discerning readers, of course.

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