Wednesday, October 30, 2013

National Book Award Guess the Plot

Below are the five titles short-listed for the National Book Award. Your job is to guess which of the plot descriptions is the real plot of the book.

Bleeding Edge

1. Carl Hollowell studies the newest body modification craze amongst teenagers with daddy issues. Also, militant protests in 1980s Beverly Hills.

2. Seth goes from comfortable home to the mean streets after his parents are killed in a drive-by. Now Seth fights for cash to survive day-to-day. Getting by is the best one can do on the . . . Bleeding Edge.

3. Hilarious murder mystery set against the backdrop of the 9/11 attacks.

4. Think of Tippi Tamponeera as a “00” agent for the feminine hygiene company Shieldies. She has a license to wreak havoc on competitive companies, especially Shieldies’ toughest competition Angelica Safety Wings, which promises protection against sideward leakage. For Tippi, it is a simple matter of factory sabotage to clip an angel’s wings. For Angelica’s customers, it’s ... the Bleeding Edge.

5. A serial killer barber uses his razor to behead customers. Cops get on to him when a routine traffic stop uncovers a van filled with human heads, all with recent haircuts.

6. Occam’s razor was so dull it was easier to tell which hairs weren’t cut. In a fit of pique he swore if he couldn’t get a close shave, he’d slit his own throat. The next day, Occam’s evil twin was found in a pool of blood, his throat a wreck and Occam’s razor in his hand. The authorities want to know who wrote the word “parse” in blood with the razor’s edge and how Occam will figure it out. He doesn’t have a clue.

Tenth of December

1. Three days after Pearl Harbor, Navy recruit Jack Donohue escorts his cousin to the Army recruitment center in Dallas. Once they see him, they want him. Can he ever leave, or will he be forced to resort to desperate tactics to escape? Also, militant protests in 1940s Japan.

2. A misfit boy on an imaginary mission meets up with a dying man on a frozen pond. Also, living lawn ornaments and sadistic neurological experiments.

3. Yet another pregnancy diary by a woman who thinks she's the first in the world to give birth. And even though her name's Eve, it ain't the case. Will her infant be one of the minority who actually arrive on the due date, you guessed it, the tenth of Dec?

4. Three days ago the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor. Today, Special operative James MacInerney arrives in Japan. His mission? Take out Hirohito.

5. The last fire was finally extinguished and the first tears of the dead rose from the Arizona. A giant shakes loose, sits up, and peers around the world. It has been decades since his last appearance. It's time to get down to business. He turns to his minions, and says, “Let’s roll!”

6. ‘Twas fifteen days till Christmas, and in the Senate and House,
the Capital Hillers played, again, cat and mouse.
Deals offered were tempting, as if baited with cheese,
but for those who liked Tea, no cheese would appease.
So the Economy wondered, “Does another debt crisis loom?
Will Nonessentials, again, be deemed essentially doomed?”
Oh, and that girl’s face on the website of Obamacare that fled:
was she a casualty of the uninsureds’ cyber-dread?
Still, one thing is certain, and of this never fear:
taxes are due April 15th next year.

The Flamethrowers

1. A motorcycle racer moves to New York for the art scene and falls in with the heir to a motorcycle company. Together they decide to "make art" by racing motorcycles on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Also, militant protests in 1970s Italy.

2. Beatrice lives in a society in which almost everyone has been implanted with gimmicky microchips. Her least favorite is the one that makes rude people classy. She and her gang throw flaming dildos at these people, until Sam, the classiest guy in the world, introduces himself to her.

3. A scientist thinks comes up with a way to keep so many trees in the rainforests from being cut down to make all that toilet paper women use. He’s invented tiny flamethrowers that attach inside of toilet bowls and act as blow-dryers. And to make them even more eco-friendly, these in-bowl dryers are fueled entirely by the user’s own gaseous emissions! But he didn't count on the 7-Bean With Cabbage Diet that had just become the latest health-conscious rage. Whoa, talk about flamethrowers!

4. In this hard-hitting expose, journalist Nate Goddard dissects the lives of the basement-bound community of neckbeards called Internet Trolls.

5. The pope orders thousands of non-Catholics burned at the stake in 15th-century Europe. It just seems like the Christian thing to do.

6. Martin and Gus pack their favorite copy of “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” their best frocks and depart for Sydney. Their agent said it would be a convention of hot, Australian men. Perfect for two middle-aged, burlesque actors from San Francisco. Turns out they're booked to perform for 2000 firemen. Too bad none of them is gay.

The Lowland

1. Inseparable brothers separate. One gets killed. The other marries his dead brother's pregnant wife. It's his good deed, and of course it doesn't go unpunished. Also, militant protests in 1960's India.

2. Seamus, a Highland farmer, can't keep up with Edinburgh's fast pace-- until he meets Celesta. This modern gal has everything going, but a love she treasures. Can they forge a technologically-savvy future together?

3. All Digit wanted was to get off the mountain. Sure, the living was easy--sleeping in trees, picking nits and killing an occasional rival was fun, but the lowland was where living began. He hated his life until Diane arrived from the valley. She was pale, weak, and couldn’t screech worth a damn, but he loved her. Now he needed to protect her from the poachers and move to the lowland before it was too late.

4. PJ McGillicutty is a lonely in Amazonica. Despite being the only male, the females will have nothing to do with him, until the volcano starts to groan to life. Can he convince the Shebeba that exercising his mojo will prevent catastrophe? And, more importantly...can it?

5. In post apocalyptic Netherlands a small band of teenagers eke out a living, defending their compound against werewolves mutated into zombies crossed with vampires. 

6. Lives and loves are torn apart by a teen seductress, her father, and a pit bull in a Nashville trailer park.

The Good Lord Bird

1. They call it that because when you see it you say, "Good Lord!" Also, militant protests in 1860s America.

2. Winney Elfsie captures a photo of what looks like Jesus Christ in the clouds. But what is he doing with his middle finger?

3. Sam thought a raised middle finger was a friendly greeting. When he waves it around Meeting his family is shunned. Can Sam overcome the ire of the LDS before his father loses his position as Stakeholder?

4. Graham takes in Great Aunt Sheila's pet honoring her last wish. Sheldon, the African grey parrot, has trouble adjusting to his new home in Graham's music studio. Also, turns out Great Aunt Shiela swore like a drunken trucker. Will Graham turn out the cursing wretch, or lose all his Kindermusik students?

5. A bird continuously flies into a window until it can no longer fly, somehow setting off a series of events including two suicides during a family road trip to California.

6. Randall Peltzer bought the Good Lord Bird in Chinatown. Back home, the bird molts, its cast-off feathers producing offspring which terrorize the town.

Answers below

Fake plots by Khazar-khum, kregger, Veronica Rundell, EE, James, CavalierdeNuit, Anon.

The correct plots are:



khazar-khum said...

That's the actual plot for 'Flamethrowers'? Must be a Literary novel.

Veronica Rundell said...

My YA contemporary romance will clearly short-list for a National Book Award. Unless, perhaps, I can work a militant protest into the plot...