After two days of intense (fiery?) discussion, a few things are apparent. Three of the panellists are thoughtful and articulate and have done their homework (and one of them is very funny--I’m looking at you Alan Thicke!) But the other two should probably not be there. One is ill-prepared or too nervous to answer the questions properly and the second prefers inflammatory statements over intelligent discussion. Much has been written about the controversy surrounding day one, so I won’t repeat what everyone else is saying. Suffice to say that I’m disappointed, both at the disrespectful comments and the fact that my favourite book got voted off first!
Given the combination of solid story and defender, I was convinced my book would get to the final round, and I was shocked when it was knocked out on the first day. Of course, I’m talking about Prisoner of Tehran, by Marina Nemat, defended passionately and articulately by Arlene Dickinson.
Marina Nemat was imprisoned for two years during the time of Khomeini. In 1982, when she was 16, she was arrested for speaking out against government propaganda in school, taken to Evin prison, tortured, and sentenced to death. She was saved at the last minute by Ali, one of her interrogators, who had her sentence reduced to life in prison. In return, in the face of threats to her family,
That left four books still in contention on Day 2, with four defenders and a wild card. Which book would be the next to go? The Tuesday debate was more engaging and collegial than Monday’s, more focussed on the quality of the writing, not just the content or the characters. The Tiger got several votes for excellent writing, and both The Game and Something Fierce earned points for engaging their audience. Not as much was said about On a Cold Road, although most people enjoyed it. But after the vote, The Tiger had to wave goodbye.
The Tiger is the story of a hunt for a man-eating tiger in
So, what can we expect tomorrow on Day 3?
Fun? Altercations? Thoughtful debate about the merits of the books in a calm, collegial, light-hearted atmosphere?
Three books remain: a hockey memoir written by one of the best goalies to play for the NHL; the story of a young girl coming of age and becoming a resistance fighter in