Blogs at Amazon

« Notes on Marginalia: Sam Anderson's | Main | Old Media Monday: Reviewing the Rev »

I Love You, Somerset Maugham: Day Five in Trebekistan

Well, I'll admit I've never read Somerset Maugham, but I'm sure going to give The Moon and Sixpence a shot now. An old friend in Philadelphia wrote to say that her husband was replaying tonight's last question almost as much as he replayed the punt return that won the Eagles game yesterday. And I have to say, having "20th Century Novelists" come out of the sky, when I was down going into Final Jeopardy to a guy who was crushing me all game long on stuff I had no idea about (Australia? Ship Happenings?), gave me an idea of what DeSean Jackson must have thought: "Oh my god, we just made up 21 points in seven minutes and now they kicked me a line drive on the last play of the game?!?" Any J! fan will tell you that the smart money when wagering from second place stays conservative and plays for the player in first to get it wrong (since you probably can't pass them if they get it right), but when faced with a dream category that I might have chosen for myself, I thought if I couldn't get it right I didn't really deserve to come back. So I went all in.

Jeopardy_Maugham And luckily on Jeopardy! all you often need is not to have read the book in question, but just read about it, in, say, a New York Review of Books article about its author, which is, I have to confess, the source of about two-thirds of all my knowledge. But now I feel it is my happy obligation to the game-show gods to actually sit down and read The Moon and Sixpence.

Knowing this little television run was coming up, I had thought I'd be blogging about it every night, but I haven't found many Omni hooks to do so, much less the time, in between replying to all the notes from long-lost friends (and the ones I see every day) who either knew the shows would be on or came across them by chance and, yeah, furtively searching to see what bizarre things people are saying about me on Twitter. (Favorite random Facebook message so far: "Your mild manner is intoxicating." My wife's reply: "I think they meant 'tranquilizing.'")

Of the many things I expected from this weird and temporary celebrity, the one I didn't really imagine, and the one that's been by far the best thing about it (the check won't arrive for a while yet...) is the sense of everyone I've ever known (and everyone they've ever known, by all reports) watching every night and rooting along, from Los Angeles to--I'm told--Afghanistan, without for the most part the knowledge that I have of what's going to happen. As the afternoons turn into evenings across the country, I get notes, and my friends and family get notes and pass them along to me, from people who just watched, and once again I am made to believe that this thing actually happened.

So any Omni readers who are tuning in--especially Western Reader!--thanks, and tune in again tomorrow. --Tom

P.S. When Julia guessed "John Green" in Final Jeopardy today, was she really guessing, or did she just blank and want to give Nerdfighter #1 a shout-out? Either way, our own Anne Bartholomew is no doubt thrilled. [P.P.S. According to Julia herself, it was a shout out. Nice!]

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I have read this article and it is really very nice & important article.Being third highest money winner in regular game history is no small feat.This is priceless information and advice.I realized that I've been reading a blog you are a part of for years.It's a small media-drenched world I guess.

I have read this article and it is really very nice & important article.Being third highest money winner in regular game history is no small feat.This is priceless information and advice.I realized that I've been reading a blog you are a part of for years.It's a small media-drenched world I guess.

At first we wanted you to lose. I don't know why. We sadly take joy in other's failing.

Then my wife and I started pulling for you, realizing that this was a rare feat you were pulling off.

Then I realized that I've been reading a blog you are a part of for years.

It's a small media-drenched world I guess.

Congratulations on your winnings. It made for some good television.

Tom, you acquitted yourself very well. Very few of us could have done as well. Being third highest money winner in regular game history is no small feat. Congratulations on an excellent run on Jeopardy! And Merry Christmas to you and your delightful family.

Whoo-hoo! What a delight to watch you win each day. Another great game. You are amazing, Tom. I've not enjoyed Jeopardy! this much in years.

You go Guy! Keep going, keep going! Yeh, yeh, yay!!!!

Awesome!!! Rooting for you!!!! Break a leg!

Go Tom! Thrilled to see a fellow Amazoner kick butt on Jeopardy. Note - I had a fairly long obsession with Somerset Maugham so was especially excited to see that clue and your correct answer. Thanks so much for putting a good face on book nerds!

Yee-ha! Win number seven! Fantastic, Tom. I'll be looking forward to seeing your wife's interesting-sounding handbag creations for sale on Amazon.com.

Tom, we are have been cheering you on from the top of Queen Anne hill! Way to represent for Seattleites!

My husband and I are related to a fellow Amazon.com employee who told us about your experience when you were filming the Jeopardy episodes and how well you were doing. It's been fun to see the episodes! Keep up the great work!

The Magician

As another friend of a friend (Deb at Harper) I'll let you know that everyone at my house is having a blast watching you. Keep up the good work and keep pulling the crazy facts out of your hat. (Somerset Maugham?) And thanks for giving us someone to root for!

Holy Cow...$184,000! You are amazing, Tom. How great it is to root for someone I "know" even if it's only by reading your blog and having exchanged a couple of emails over Dan Brown's book. Congrats again!

Just wanted to let you know our little family (me, my husband, and our 4.5 yr old son) are rooting for you from Atlanta, GA. Somehow watching Jeopardy every night has become our ritual after the dishes are done and the kitchen has closed down.

My son actually talks about you on the way home from school--he has said EVERY DAY since you have been winning, I wonder if Tom is going to win on Jefferdy tonight?

Go, you!

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

Omnivoracious™ Contributors

September 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30