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I am, of course, referring to the bracket for this year's Tournament of Books, brought to you by The Morning News. And evidently, I am the worst bracket-filler-outer in the history of bracketology.
I said that The Fault in Our Stars would lose to The Round House. Wrong.
I said that Where'd You Go Bernadette would beat out The Orphan Master's Son. Wrong.
* Justification Time: I did tell you that I had a hard time choosing between the contenders in those two match-ups. See proof here.
Now we get to a bright spot. I totally called the contest between Building Stories and Dear Life. It was impossible for Alice Munro to win that one. Building Stories is so totally different that it will take a better book than hers to beat it. We'll see how it moves up. It will be paired next against Beautiful Ruins, which, against my prediction, beat out The Song of Achilles. It should not have won, but I was wrong again.
Beautiful Ruins frustrated me. It could have been such a good book. Commentator Kevin Guilfoile notes the same problems that I have with Jess Walter's book: One of the narratives works better than the other. And that is exactly why Song of Achilles should have moved on.
I was wrong again in my call about May We Be Forgiven vs. Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Neither one of these should make it to the finals in my estimation, but May We Be Forgiven was the worst of the two. It was a bit too much of a pile-on by the end of the book. I stopped believing that any human, particularly the protagonist, would be involved in so many near-farcical experiences.
I also think that the wrong book won in Arcadia vs. How Should a Person Be. The commentators seemed to struggle with this one as much as I did, and I contend that the book you would choose is completely based on what age demographic you fall into.
After all the wrong calls, it's nice to be able to point out that two of my favorites are still in the game: Gone Girl and Bring Up the Bodies. The Girl can definitely bring the pain for the flawed Beautiful Ruins in a match-up later this week.
And Hilary Mantel has proven what a vicious fighter she can be against the Duchess of Cambridge, so imagine how much hurt she can inflict on How Should a Person Be's Sheila Heti on Friday. It's a matter of maturity.
So I only called 3 out of 8 contests. That won't stop me from predicting the Final Four:
The Orphan Master's Son
Bring Up the Bodies
That's if a zombie doesn't come along to wreck my bracket again. Don't know what I mean? Click here.