The last of round 1.
Tonguecat: A Novel
Verhelst’s novel takes several different narrators and intertwines their stories to show how lives are affected when a city falls apart. Readers see the king out searching for warmth, people resisting the government, the monarchy crumbling, a mysterious girl, and the titan Prometheus, all acting in concurrent tales that swirl around each other in a wonderful chaos. Part of the fun is the mystery surrounding those moments when characters’ lives intersect.
South Korea vs. Russia
WINNER: South Korea and Russia
“Shower” tells a brief story of a boy and girl that meet by a stream and start to form the beginnings of love. The story features a sense of childhood innocence that is refreshing and relatable. The title rain shower that suddenly comes down during the story proves to change the boy and girl’s burgeoning relationship in an unexpected way.
“The Bet” features two characters, a banker and a lawyer arguing over capital punishment. The lawyer agrees to spend 15 years in isolation to prove that life in prison is better than capital punishment. Tension rises as situations in the banker and lawyer’s life make the stakes of this bet higher than anticipated. The Twilight Zone episode “The Silence” was based in part on Anton Chekhov’s “The Bet”.