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N.B. This is the first of two Zombie Rounds, where two books eliminated in the early rounds get a chance to re-enter the competition for one last go at the title. Carpentaria was voted back in as out first Zombie Round contender, while The Children’s Bach was the second and will go up against My Brilliant Career next Thursday.
Ben: OK, now I have some problems here. First of all, this is called the zombie round, and that freaks me out. I do not want Gilgamesh or Carpentaria smashing through my poorly-boarded-up cabin door and biting my head—the very thought terrifies me, not least because I am scared to think of where a book’s mouth might be. What’s more, it seems to me that if these books are zombies, then how can either truly be eliminated? Oh sure, we THINK Carpentaria has lost and been banished to outer darkness, but how can we be sure that it won’t come lumbering back, crashing into the final and tearing off Miles Franklin’s arms? It scares me, Jess.
And what’s more, this round has been judged in cartoon form, which has me all discombobulated. This is a literary tournament, after all, and we are literary folk: pictures scare and confuse us. The strange sorcery by which people “draw” is beyond my ken, and I don’t know what to make of it. I’m fairly sure though, that Gilgamesh has won, and this tournament’s trend of historical hurly-burly winning the day continues. We thought it was gone, but it’s back, and just like me, I’m sure all the other books are terrified.
Jess: I promise you this, Ben—right now, a certain book whose title may or may not sound a tiny bit like Wry Militant Brassiere is probably feeling a hell of a lot more nervous today, for a true champion has returned from the underworld—and truth be told, it looks pretty pissed off right now.
And personally, I couldn’t be MORE thrilled and excited to see our zombie round judged in cartoon form! For too long the literary scene has been dominated by things like “words” and “sentences” and “punctuation” with shamefully minimal effort put into the visuals. No longer! For one blessed round, First Dog On The Moon’s succinct turn of phrase and adorable dog pictures have managed to perfectly sum up a clash of great Australian novels, and I think it’s brilliant.
I knew you’d agree with me, Spot.