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The 2007 Tournament of Books at The Morning News has so far been brutal, with one of the heavyweights, Richard Powers’ The Echo Maker (last year’s National Book Award winner) falling in a huge upset in the first round. Fortunately, its loss opens the door for my favorite, Half of a Yellow Sun, which barely survived its first round match, to walk into the finals, though there’s still a potential tough quarterfinal match against The Road. Fingers crossed everybody!

(I know the tournament’s already started, but if you want to submit your brackets in the comments, do so. I’ll have mine up later today.)



And Firmin wins today. I’ve heard enough about this novel that I’m very intrigued, and very tempted to buy it…

Yeah, that was obvious:

I sound like a dust jacket here, but the love between the dad, who’s definitely in the running for Awesomeist Post-Apocalyptic Dad Ever, and the son, born shortly after the “concussions,” who’s only known sunless gray and suffocation (his mother offed herself with a “flake of obsidian”), is the unexpected element in a story in which freeze-dried corpses are something to be envied. I’m sorry I sound like a dust jacket. It’s a gorgeous thing, yet it in no way overshadows or negates the misery. The book would suck if it did. Something beautiful can also entirely beg the question. Should this child sustained by his father’s love even be alive? I’m still not sure. The Biblical overtones are obvious, but the book’s not a nap in the pews. McCarthy’s not challenging your faith in God so much as your faith in humanity, and while the meter needle’s pretty much bottoming out on that anyhow, there’s sanctuary to be found in this otherwise utterly riven tale.

It’s as I feared: Half of a Yellow Sun vs. The Road.