World's Fair

The Morning News’s Fifth Annual Tournament of Books, real March madness, is a true highlight of the near-Spring calendar. I’m told there is some other tournament this month, also capitalizing on the month “March” in its title. We’ll have to look into that.

This TMN tourney has thus far seen four colossal upsets. In one bracket alone, the Booker Prize winner and PEN/Faulkner Award winner’s were both taken down by lower-seeded upstarts. Shocking. Startling. Immense. Bloggable.

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Note that Judge Jonah Lehrer, he of The Frontal Cortex, was the arbiter of one of these upsets, picking Mark Sarva’s Harry, Revised over Aravind Adiga’s White Tiger. Note too that of the 16 entries in the tournament, I haven’t quite finished them all so I can’t say whether the results are fair. And by “quite finished” I mean that I haven’t started them all. And by “all” I mean I haven’t ready any of them. Yet.


Today’s match up is Round 1, Match 5 in the DAVID FOSTER WALLACE Regional. It was the first to avoid an upset — Peter Matthiessen’s Shadow Country in an easy victory over E. Lockhart’s (apparently surprisingly solid) The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks.

Here is the original call to arms, the tourney announcement: this link.

Here are the brackets: go print them.

Here are this year’s judges: a motley crew, including last year’s winner Junot Diaz.

Here is where you can go to check in on other bloggers’ comments and what not: all very interesting.

But here is where all the real action is: commentary from the booth (from today’s).

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