This morning I went to my first reading of the Edinburgh Book Festival, where I was greeted at the Spiegeltent by a man wielding free coffee. I have never been more pleased to see anyone – I really needed some coffee. I didn’t realize how much until I tried to milk it with another jug of coffee, at which point someone asked me if I was there from The Scotsman. I take heart that whoever is covering the book festival from there is as dazed and confused as I am first thing.
Suitably caffeined I sat down to await the arrival of the author, Joe Dunthorne (probably best known for his first novel, Submarine, which was made into a film this year starring Paddy Considine and Maria out of the Sarah Jane Adventures). All around me people were reading; which is a truly beautiful thing but it made me feel like a bit of a freak because I was scribbling away in a notebook. In red ink, no less. I consoled myself with the fact that some of the best novels are written in red ink, even though I have no evidence to support such a statement.
Then the man himself appeared, optimistically clad in shorts, and explained a bit about the reading he was going to do from his new book, Wild Abandon. The scene was based in a commune in the Gower in South Wales, he said, and contained a lot of different characters (as is the nature of such places).
It was really good. Continue reading