All novels are imperfect, and if we like a story we will say we like it in spite of its flaws, and if we don’t like a novel we will say we dislike it because of them… But most of the time, those particular missteps of craft don’t really inform our decision as much as we think. This is something that has become really clear to me in 13 years of the Rooster. Our appreciation (or not) of any work of fiction happens on a gut, emotional level. Our attempts to explain why we love or we hate a book are often just rationalizations. But we learn so much from the attempt to figure it out. The ToB is a lab where we try to define the connections between our hearts and our heads, and hopefully it makes us all better readers and writers.

From the Tournament of Books match commentary for The Nix versus Homegoing.

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“Human perversity is greater than human heroism […] or cowardice […] or art,” my dancing mother declaimed. “For there are limits to these things, there are points beyond which we will not go in their name; but to perversity there is no limit set, no frontier that anyone has found. Whatever today’s excess, tomorrow’s will exceed-o it.”

The Moor’s Last Sigh, by Salman Rushdie

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