If it was not for Ready Steady Book, i wouldn’t have known that The Savage Detectives had been resurrected in a “zombie round.”
Also, I didn’t know that that earlier that Remainder had been knocked out by The Shadow Catcher, but the reader seemed to have legitimate reasons for why he made that pick. Apparently he likes plots and stories. When i read this blog post though,it became apparent he must like crap fiction. The commenter who excerpted from One Hundred Years of Solitude is awesome. Thank you.
Although i love Remainder now, when i first put the book down, i felt disappointed. It wasn’t until weeks later, when it was obvious that it was still resonating, screwing with my consciousness, i was forced to look for all of McCarthy’s interviews. If a book is mind-altering, that’s a good thing. From the recitation of the plot of The Shadow Catcher, it would have bored me senseless. Seeing it get called out as a faint echo of Garcia Marquez, it’s pathetic. Contemporary American realism simply is not challenging enough. It makes one think of that Why fiction? question.
The Savage Detectives was still knocked out again, this time by The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It’s mildly amusing that the judge proclaims that he has no connection to either author. Someone else must have called them out on that little conflict of interest that could have been instrumental in knocking The Savage Detectives out in the first round. Their designated commentators harrumphed about McCracken using Diaz’s work in her classes, but turned a blind eye to the earlier McSweeney’s thingmajig, Oh well…
(edit: Fixed that sentence about McCracken and Diaz, as a commenter read it as McCracken being Diaz’s teacher, which is not the case. Apologies.)
The good thing about this Tournament of Books is that it has me curious about The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It’s ironic that Shining at the Bottom of the Sea, a book that i almost picked up last fall, lost out to it because that judge compared it to my beloved Bolano, Nazi Literature in the Americas in this instance, and found it wanting. (Stephen Marche might still be someone i want to read, but he’ll be in paperback, possibly used.) It’s troublesome that so many writers seem to want to proclaim loudly that they were nerds, rather than failed or haunted poets, but this is the internet. Why expect anything else?
It’s bugging the hell out of me what story i read by Elizabeth McCracken too. She’s familiar for more than her reviews.