Showing posts from April 12, 2006

Comment: Beware of Snarks

Here's a totally brilliant idea: instead of choosing the best book of last year by an elite, overly political, always misunderstood panel -- let 'em go head to head! Yes, online magazine The Morning News and Powell's have invented The Tournament Of Books , now in its second year, and (apologies for being behind the times) almost over. It works like March Madness (or those speech competitions I did in high school): two books at a time are pitted against one other and judged by a single judge; the winner goes on to compete in the next round. This year it's come down to a final round face-off between Sam Lipsyte's HOMELAND and Ali Smith's THE ACCIDENTAL -- the winner is the undisputed champeen! Of course, as in those other competitions, a lot of the outcome can depend on the luck of the draw -- who you face in the first round, and who's judging. But it's not really any less arbitrary than the panel/committee method, and it's a lot more transparent. The