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Friday
Nov302012

Glasgow, Ep. 3

December 1, 2012 — In our final Euro show of 2012, Literary Death Match delivered an abso-doozy to close out Book Week Scotland, a brilliant affair that saw stars from England Writers Football Team up against stars from Scottish Writers FC that ended with Team Joe Dunthorne outdueling Team Kevin Williamson 2-1 in a Literary Triathlon to give England (well, Wales, really) the final glory as Dunthorne was crowned champ.

But before the wild finale was even a consideration, The Mitchell Library audience saw a Round 1 to remember, with countrymen Williamson (author of In a Room Darkened and founder of legendary lit mag Rebel Inc) going up against LDM Edinburgh LDM champ Christopher Brookmyre (author of Where the Bodies are Buried and 14 other novels). Williamson lit the stage aflame, with a poetic outburst about a man coming in to see if he had a television in his home — and Williamson wanting to go into his home to see if he had Williamson's book. Brookmyre followed with a chillingly calm performance that featured all manner of gore and grim that had the audience simultaneously titillated and cringing. 

The mic was then handed to the trio of all-star judges: Kirsty Logan (novelist, short fictionist, editor, teacher), Andrea Gibb (knockout film and TV writer who adapted Rose Tremain's novel The Road Home for BBC1) and Julia Sutherland (presenter/comedian/show-off). The three traded quick quips, and endless admiration for each of the night's first two readers, but after a difficult deliberation it was Williamson who would stand as the night's first finalist. 

After a booze-fueled intermission, Round 2 commenced with Graham Joyce (author of Some Kind of Fairy Tale and The Tooth Fairy) against Dunthorne (author of Submarine and Wild Abandon). Joyce was a wonder, risking a Scottish accent in Glasgow, as he told the tale of his time playing in goal in front of a hostile English crowd (led by an elderly lady that gave him the most guff). Then Dunthorne enthralled with a story of a YouTube sensation (14 million views worth) that winded and twisted from serious to comical to brilliant. 

Again, the judges were spotlighted, as Logan couldn't resist expressing her love for Graham Joyce, and later expressing a similar love for Dunthorne (before admitting her girlfriend would be none-to-pleased by either crush). Gibb and Sutherland were in similar throes of affection, but there could be only one, and it was Dunthorne who moved on as the night's second finalist. 

Then LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga took center stage, as he explained that the finale would be a literary triathlon that brought English and Scottish writer/footballers to the stage to assist Williamson/Dunthorne. Team Dunthorne leapt out to an early lead after Book Shotput, but Team Williamson rebounded in the Synchronized Listening. But Literary Archery, in which the two finalists and a hand-picked teammate had to shoot a lipstick-tipped dart at a poster of Irvine Welsh, it went down to sudden death with Team Dunthorne "kissing" Welsh on his cheek, to not only win Dunthorne the Literary Death Match Glasgow, Ep. 3 medal, but literary immortality to go with it. 

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