There is more than enough love out there for The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown so I do not feel bad in telling you that I have no love to add to the pot. Three sisters all named for a Shakespearian character by their father, a Shakespeare professor. Each bearing some similarities to the character for whom they were named. All have returned home as adults to presumably care for their ill mother but in truth are there because they are all self-defined failures on one level or another. A retreat. To the home where they all speak in Shakespeare's verse. Brown has talent as a storyteller but this is force feeding from the land of gimmicky. She could have taken this over-the-top approach to a magic place but instead becomes mired down in putting each of her characters on the couch, telling us their motivations and thoughts and so on rather than allowing the story to show us their plights and paths. And I believe I developed cavities from the ending. Which I reached after skimming through the final third of the book. I had hoped for more.
So as a reaction to that reading experience, I have shifted my focus back to the opening round of the Tournament of Books and Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt, a satire that posits sexual fantasy as a solution to corporate angst. Hilarious. Bad. The good bad. And so worthy of winning its first round matchup. I didn't read Salvage the Bones which was matched up against this one but I can just tell this one deserved to win. I feel cleansed by the filthiness of it all. A cavity free read. Reminds me to pick up Smut and House of Holes soon. As an exercise in thematics.
That takes me up to Matchup 3 of the opening rounds having read the winners of one and two. I was going to read the winners of each contest but I don't have time to read the winner of the third, 1Q84. So I have declared the this matchup unimportant and unlikely to advance its winner to the end. So on to Matchup 4 where I cannot bring myself to read the winner, The Tiger's Wife. I will read the book it defeated, The Stranger's Child, at some point but have no time for the losers currently. So on to Matchup 5 where I already read the loser, State of Wonder, with my book club from work and believe that Wil Wheaton nailed it when he knocked that one out of competititon (although zombie round resurrection is a possibility). My next read is the winner of that contest, The Sisters Brothers. Swamplandia! I enjoyed (proof here) so I am good for 6. And Matchup 7 I prepared for, and purchased a copy of The Marriage Plot because it seemed like an inevitability.
Feel better prepared for Quarterfinals and Semifinals than in previous years when I refused to read anything but my favorites. Go catch the commentary. And throw me your favorites?