Friday 26 February 2010

Reading in the Air

Last night I attended the most unconventional book event ever. Seriously, I doubt anyine can beat this. Organised by the folks at Literary Miscellany, Ian Sansom launched The Bad Book Affair at Belfast City Hall’s exhibition space and the Belfast Wheel.

I kid you not, folks.

Attendees were treated to free wine and nibbles as Mister Sansom took the time to schmooze with the crowd. Then Glen Patterson, a Belfast literary giant, introduced Belfast’s lord mayor, Naomi Long, who praised the Northern Irish literary scene then handed the microphone back to Mister Patterson. Following a glowing introduction from said Belfast literary giant, the general theme being Ian Sansom is just great, the man of the moment, the author of The Bad Book Affair, made a wonderful and funny speech about his miserable early years in Belfast, his application to Belfast City Council for a job as a gravedigger and his journey to becoming a writer. He ended the brief talk with a toast and the audience was then led to the Belfast Wheel.

I attended the event alone as my wife, also a Sansom fan, couldn’t make it. Fortunately, my lonely spirits were lifted when I ended up in Ian Sansom’s big wheel carriage. We listened to a pre-recorded reading from The Bad Book Affair as the wheel raised us upwards for a lovely view of the Belfast city skyline in all its orange-lit splendour. Mister Sansom, always good for a chuckle, took the piss out of his reading and treated us to a few quips before disembarking the carriage to sign books as provided by David Torrans of No Alibis.

Not a bad way to spend a Thursday evening, folks.

Incidentally, I've almost finished reading The Bad Book Affair and would heartily recommend that you all run out and buy a copy.


Michael Stone said...

I'm on a book buying sabbatical just now. However, as I have all of Mr Sansom's previous books, it'd be silly not to get this one, right?

seana graham said...

I didn't even know Belfast had a wheel.

Not that there's anything wrong with being a gravedigger, but on the whole, sharing the stage with the lord mayor sounds a bit nicer.

Gerard Brennan said...

Mike - It'd be ridiculous. You have to get it.

Seana - I'd say Mister Sansom would have to be pretty happy with how things worked out for him, though in his talk he said he still felt like he was just starting out in the whole writing thing. Gotta admire that modesty.