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Edinburgh, Ep. 10

August 23, 2015 — To kick off our eight-shows-in-eight days at the Edinburgh Fringe, Literary Death Match showcased an electric group of performers, in a late-afternoon that finished with Tim Clare outdueling co-finalist Rebecca Green in an all-out battle of One Star Wonder to win Clare the LDM Edinburgh, Ep. 10 crown. 

But before the finale was even a thought, the show opened with the magically performative Jason Hewitt, who read from the opening pages of his dazzling novel, Devestation Road, about a man waking up, unsure of where he is. Then up stepped Tim Clare, who read from his staggeringly good debut novel, The Honours, about a girl obsessed with guns in Norfolk in 1935. 

The mic was then handed to the trio of all-star judges: Stewart O'Nan award-winning author of West of Sunset and one of Granta's Best Young Novelists; Andrew Hunter Murray, one of the stars of Austentatious, and a QI literary elf; and Jena Friedman, comedian behind the EdFringe show American Cunt, and Daily Show producer. The brilliant trio heaped praise and oddball commentary on both readers before huddling up and making the late-afternoon's first impossible decision, declaring Clare as the night's first finalist. 

Then came Round 2, kicked off by the ever-fantastic Philip Teir, who first played a tune from his iPhone before delivering a thrilling piece from his novel, Winter War. Then it was Rebecca Green finishing it off, with a playful, largely language-free pair of poems that enthralled the audience. 

The mic was again handed to the judges, who were endlessly impressed with both writers, applauding their general brilliance, before making the night's second impossible choice, deciding to send Green on to the finals. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, who announced the night's finale: One Star Wonders — a game in which Zuniga read off 1-star Amazon book reviews written about classic books. The two finalists (Clare and Green), were teamed with volunteers and they traded points, but with everything to play for, it was Team Clare who slapped the bell first, nailing the final answer, winning him the LDM Edinburgh, Ep. 10 crown, and literary immortality to go with it. 

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