This is it! We started with sixteen awesome books and four legends have emerged to duke it out in a pair of glorious semi-finals. Who will achieve eternal fame?
Let’s take a look at the fortunate four and the paths they took to get here (with a few editorial comments to establish some drama…):
- The Things They Carried (Tim O’Brien)
- A contender unlike any other, O’Brien’s evocative, challenging novel has crushed its competition, powering to the semi-final on the strength of vivid imagery and unforgettable characters.
- Round 1 – defeated Gone Girl
- Round 2 – defeated The Autobiography of Henry VIII
- The Song of Achilles (Madeline Miller)
- A dark horse finalist, Miller’s rendering of immortal Achilles’ story will need its beautiful prose and Patroclus’ unique point of view to shine through if it hopes to fight for a spot in the final.
- Round 1 – defeated Lolita
- Round 2 – defeated Lonesome Dove
- American Gods (Neil Gaiman)
- A true heavyweight and the odds-on favorite (but who’s counting), Gaiman’s inventive, ingenious classic will rely on the charisma of its characters to get to the final.
- Round 1 – defeated Station Eleven
- Round 2 – defeated The Iliad
- The King Must Die (Mary Renault)
- A versatile semi-finalist, Renault’s retelling of the myth of Theseus can chalk up its success to its uncanny ability to breath life and credibility into a hero of the ancient Greek world.
- Round 1 – defeated The Boys in the Boat
- Round 2 – defeated The Grass Crown
And now, without further ado, I give you our first semi-final! Vote well, vote often.*
*Multiple votes are allowed, so champion your favorite through to the final!