Friday, 22 March 2013

Tournament of Books 3rd Quarter Final

Tournament of Books 2013 3rd Quarter Final


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
v.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Judged by Kate Bolick who is a contributing editor for the Atlantic and a soon to be author. Her first book, Among the Suitors: On Being a Woman, Alone, is forthcoming from Crown/Random House, and her Atlantic cover story “All the Single Ladies” is in development with CBS as a TV sitcom.

I’m guessing no-one is going to be too surprised with the results of this round.
Though I’m intrigued to see what another judge says about Gone Girl, cos I yet have to agree with any of them!
I do love the fact that the judge did avoid Gone Girl like I did, purely because the whole world loved it and the plot sounded dull.


Here’s what she says about Beautiful Ruins.
It opens in 1962 in a sleepy Italian coastal village the size of an espresso cup, elegantly depicted in sentences as picturesque as the view, luring you with a hinted-at pathos that promises high literary experience. And then—flash forward—it’s modern times from the point of view of a grouchy assistant film producer whose 72-year-old boss, an industry legend, is so addicted to cosmetic surgery that his face looks “prematurely embalmed,” “glistening, vaguely lifelike.”
Scritch, scratch went my pen, making appreciative checkmarks.
And then it’s the 1960s again. And then you’re reading a World War II veteran’s (very good) unpublished manuscript. And so the story progresses with subtle feints and daring switchbacks, meanwhile unveiling a very convincing critique of Hollywood then and now, until all those seemingly unrelated characters…well, I won’t ruin it. Richard Burton playing himself is a highlight.’

Whereas she saw Gone Girl as being very obvious and blunt however…
‘And then—I wish I could pinpoint the moment this happened—the book hijacked my life! Oh the tension, oh the dread. My pulse quickens just remembering the merciless suspense! I read nonstop, guiltily avoiding other deadlines. My stomach felt queasy. I was reminded of the distinct sensation that is getting involved with a guy who tells you up front he’s not looking for anything serious and then confuses you by being really serious in such a way that you want the manipulation to last forever. As a friend, writer Amanda Fortini, recently tweeted, “Gone Girl should come with a warning label: ‘Abandon work and sleep all ye who enter here.’”
And yet: Just because a book makes your heart speed up and ultimately culminates in a totally shocking denouement doesn’t mean that it’s great.’

Damn it, another convert!


TODAY’S WINNER: Gone Girl

Still not doing too bad in the table on Hungry Like a Wolf

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