Yessss! You guys! First The Sisters Brothers wins, then The Marriage Plot loses! Ha! Victory! And with that gloating over let’s get to the first round.
So, as discussed, my favourite book in the tournament is GOING FORTH! But clearly not FROM THIS SHOP. Why has no one bought the last copy? I only have speculation. Could it be that the Western is not a hugely appealing genre, especially in Australia, no matter the literary merit of the book in question? Could it be that every one already has one (we HAVE actually sold a number)? Could it be that it isn’t in a visible enough location? Could it be that you who read the blog don’t love me? Could it be that I haven’t been shilling it when people ask for a recommendation because I can just TELL the people wouldn’t like it? WHO CAN SAY. All I know is that you should watch the blog for more updates on the availability of that last copy.
SO, that book v. Swamplandia!. Similarities: quirky first person narration from endearing characters, magical realism, poetic writing. Differences: the rest of the books! I’ve already discussed both their individual merits in their respective ToB posts so you know how I feel about both of them. One further thing I will say is that, while this is CERTAINLY more an indictment of me than of Swamplandia!, at times I found Ava’s magical perception of events kind of irritating (and Ossie’s even more so!). I felt like yelling at them SPOILER ALERT (highlight to read: Your stupid ghost thing is INCREDIBLY annoying Ossie and also shut up! And Ava THAT DUDE’S TOTES A PAEDOPHILE END SPOILER
The book was clever, it ramped up the tension, but at times I wanted to skip ahead till what I knew would happen happened.
THAT SAID! Overall it is certainly a great debut novel, I wish I had one iota of the talent that Karen Russell shows.
The Sisters Brothers had tension too, but never the irritating kind, so that’s a win for me.
And so my favourite book of last year lives to fight another day!
As for the SECOND match up, may I just say haHA! Goodbye least favourite book of last year! Now I don’t want to spend too much time talking about this round (due to much previous discussion and incoming [eventually] EUGNIDESTRUCTION 2012), but I am very happy with the outcome. Open City is a fantastic book, and Julius, its narrator, is a fascinating character. As for a revelation that occurs towards the end of the book, I don’t want to spoil it here, but I WILL refer you to the comments on the match up because there is some seriously smart and interesting discussion going on there. I’m glad that the more deserving book won (though Marriage Plot has it’s fair share of supporters, like that Fay girl).
That’s what I’ve got, keep a-readin’ to find out about the (eventual) sale of the last copy of The Sisters Brothers.