There's always that point in any competition where some broadcaster mentions "a Cinderella story," or as Bill Murray said in Caddyshack, someone "outta nowhere."In basketball this month, we had Harvard and that fun group from Florida Gulf Coast. (For those of you shaking your head in disbelief that I would know anything about sports, I gently point out that I do read the news. And I've seen Caddyshack like 100 times.)
In the king-daddy of all book tournaments (or at least the one that's the most fun) known as The Morning News Tournament of Books, we had some serious upsets. All of the books that were "shoo-ins" to win have been knocked out, including powerhouses like Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies, Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, and Chris Ware's Building Stories.
Instead, the readers brought back The Orphan Master's Son in the infamous Zombie Round of the tournament. That's a round that allows a popular vote to bring one book "back from the dead," or to revive a book that was previously knocked out of the tournament. I still contend the NCAA would benefit from a zombie.
And now, in a repeat match-up from March 19, The Orphan Master's Son is pitted against The Fault in Our Stars. There is no surprise for me that Orphan Master's Son is back; it really never should have left the competition in the first place. The Cinderella story here is Fault.
It's been a crazy ride in this tournament, and turnovers have been key, with even the perennial commentators noting that there have been some odd judgments, but an overall enthusiasm among the judges and readers for this year's slate of contenders.
I agree it was a great list of books, but I still don't think that Fault, as good as it is, should be in the final round. Of course, it's easy for me to be a Monday morning quarterback (or Thursday morning in this case). It's a lot harder to judge between two essentially good reads when each person's taste is so subjective.
We'll learn who the champ is tomorrow, and I'll give you a full review of the winner. Until then, remember that it isn't over till it's over.
These sports cliches were brought to you by the letter Z for zombie.