25 March, 2010

Tournament of Novels at First Thoughts

If, like me, you think the annual college basketball championship is less interesting than a good novel, then you might want to take a gander at First Thoughts' Tournament of Novels. There's only one word for it: AllKindsOfAwesome.

First Thoughts, by the way, is the weblog of First Things, a journal founded by the late Fr. John Neuhaus, and now maintained by Christians of a more traditional persuasion. This tournament was set up by Joe Carter, an evangelical writer for FT. So people given to certain cultural fashions of the moment may be surprised to find that Left Behind and Father Elijah are not on the list. No, they have genuine, classic novels—and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is on the list—but it faces off against Dune in its first round, which probably isn't fair at all. Paul Muad'Dib FTW!

(Honestly though, the choice in sci-fi should have been between Dune and A Canticle for Leibowitz. Maybe next time.)

Speaking of the uncultured ignorance of traditional Christians, some readers are complaining that Daniel Deronda was chosen for George Eliot instead of Middlemarch. I haven't read either myself, but I have read Silas Marner, which hopefully mitigates my sin.

I hope The Brothers Karamazov wins. In the first round it's paired up against Anna Karenina. Sorry, Clemens, but this time I hope Tolstoy loses, and badly. ;-)

Update: Okay, I was wrong: the voters are clearly misinformed clods. How do I know? Dune lost to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Look, I've read both of them, multiple times, and I love the Hitchhiker's Guide series, but the dinner scene in Dune is by itself higher quality writing than anything Douglas Adams put together in his entire life.

On the other hand, the Hitchhiker's Guide series was dismissive of religion, whereas Dune is the story of a galactic messiah.

No comments: