Sorry, Thomas Pynchon (wherever you are). Maybe next time, National Book Award-winner Richard Powers. The National Book Critics Circle, the nationwide organization of more than 500 book critics, editors and reviewers, announced finalists in six categories for its 2006 book awards this past weekend, and neither highly honored novelist made the cut.
Imagine a different April 1945. Red Army troops pull a bedraggled Adolf Hitler out of his bunker rabbit hole. Before long the dentist is yanking back Hitler's head to inspect his teeth. For several years the former Führer alternately rants and ruminates to world media, his trial for crimes against humanity lumbering to its inevitable verdict.