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16th March
2009
written by Steph
Curses!  The very rationale I used for justifying Ali choosing The Northern Clemency actually worked against me this round!  D'oh!  It sounds like Ali enjoyed both books this round, although one thing I've been noticing this year is that the commentators tend to prefer the book the judge didn't pick in many cases.  I found the discussion on The Lazarus Project intriguing (especially the comparison to Jonathan Safran Foer), so I will probably check it out in the future.  I am torn about The Northern Clemency - I did take it out from the library and started reading it, and made it about 200 pages in (I read the first section of the book), and I just wasn't gripped by it.  This was during my frantic reading phase so I might not have been in the right mindset for a longer book, but I do feel like it might be a book I should try again at some nebulous future time.  What I read was not bad by any means, but I did find the numerous secondary and tertiary characters (who are followed in quite a bit of depth) to be overwhelming and distracting from any kind of central narrative. Next up:  A Mercy goes head to head with The Dart League King.  My library doesn't even have a copy of the latter, and I'm at a loss as to predict how this will go.  In any other tournament I'd feel like one could pretty safely back A Mercy, but with the Tournament of Books, is there ever a sure fire choice?  Still, I'm going to go with what makes sense to me and pick A Mercy.

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