The Morning News

The Morning News Tournament of Books, sponsored by Powell’s Books, is an annual battle royale amongst the top novels in “literary fiction” published throughout the year. Read more about this year’s tournament »

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Powell's Books

The 2007 Tournament of Books is over. To view this year's Tournament, go here.


From the Booth

Against the Day


Pride of Baghdad


WARNER: This oddball match-up is a true testament to the absurdity and wonder that is the Tournament of Books. At a shipping weight of 3.31 pounds versus 1.15 for Pride of Baghdad, Against the Day literally triples the graphic novel in size. This is like asking Elizabeth Hasselbeck to face off against Michael Moore in celebrity sumo wrestling.

Mega-props to Judge Anthony Doerr for sorting this one out. It seems like a tougher job than the guy who’s charged with licking all of the color off the plain M&Ms backstage at an Avril Lavigne concert.

GUILFOILE: Speaking of musicians licking each other, haven’t all the white female contestants on American Idol this year looked exactly alike to you? That is, don’t they all look exactly like they’re leaving El Jardin at about 2:00 a.m. with my friend Scott even though I bought, like, three pitchers of margaritas, knew every single move from the Shiny Happy People video, and cracked everyone up with my impression of Bull from Night Court?

WARNER: I’d like to know why conservative commentators aren’t blasting away at the obvious reverse affirmative action practiced by American Idol, ensuring that six male singers make the final 12 despite there being, at max, two males who could even remotely hang with the women in a straight up sing-off. Where’s Bill Bennett when you need him?

GUILFOILE: Bill Bennett has already lost five large on Sundance Head and he has another 15 down on Cormac McCarthy. Also, I think he would say that this year’s American Idol is all about Title IX chickens coming home to roost.

What were we talking about again? Against the Day? Yeah, haven’t read that.

But I am glad that we included a graphic novel in the tourney this year, even if it got crushed like a stripped Pinto in the fiery jaws of the Pynchon Bookasaurus.

« Return to the judge’s decision for this match.

The Standings


• Round One •

Half of a Yellow Sun v. Absurdistan
judged by Brady Udall

The Echo Maker v. The Emperor’s Children
judged by Marcus Sakey

Firmin v. Brookland
judged by Sarah Hepola

The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo v. The Road
judged by Maria Schneider

Arthur and George v. One Good Turn
judged by Kate Schlegel

The Lay of the Land v. English, August
judged by Colin Meloy

Alentejo Blue v. Apex Hides the Hurt
judged by Dan Chaon

Against the Day v. Pride of Baghdad
judged by Anthony Doerr

• Round Two •

Half of a Yellow Sun v. The Emperor’s Children
judged by Jessa Crispin

Firmin v. The Road
judged by Mark Sarvas

One Good Turn v. The Lay of the Land
judged by Maud Newton

Alentejo Blue v. Against the Day
judged by Sam Lipsyte


Half of a Yellow Sun v. The Road
judged by Elizabeth Gaffney

One Good Turn v. Against the Day
judged by Sasha Frere-Jones


The Road v. Against the Day
judged by Andrew Womack

One Good Turn v. Absurdistan
judged by Rosecrans Baldwin


The Road v. Absurdistan
All Judges + Jessica Francis Kane