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London, Ep. 14

April 13, 2011 — Featuring one of the greatest literary lineups in its story-filled history, Literary Death Match London’s 14th-ever London episode at Concrete, and sponsored by Picador, finished with an Easter-themed egg-throwing extravaganza that saw Stuart Evers out-Cadbury co-finalist Abigail Tartellin in extra time winning him the Literary Death Match crown. 

But before the first foil-covered projectile was launched, the night began with Tartellin leading off with a two-chapter selection from her just-released novel Flick, about a 15-year-old boy falling in love for the first time — a sweet mix of teenage sex, nostalgia, and advice on how to pass your GCSEs.

Then up stepped Edward Docx (author of the just-released The Devil's Garden), who opted to go off-novel and deliver a dazzling poem about main characters hassling the author. 

The mic was then turned over to the trio of all-star judges: Sunday Times film critic Cosmo Landesman (author of Starstruck: Fame, Failure, My Family & Me), belle of every literary ball Anna Goodall (former Pen Pusher editor) and actress-hilaritress extraordinaire, Samantha Baines.

Goodall loved the bored adolescent mustiness of Tartellin’s work, while Landesman admitted he was convinced "It's going to be a classic.” About Docx, Baines was disappointed his jacket was so low that she couldn’t see his bum, but very much appreciated his choice in shoes. 

After a difficult deliberation, it was Tartellin who was invited to go on as the night’s first finalist. 

After a drinks- and chatter-filled intermission, the event resumed with a humdinger of a second round, as Stuart Evers (author of Ten Stories About Smoking) charmed the packed house with a relationship told through a variety of different outfits: red jeans, A&E stories, drunkenness in a vintage AC/DC t-shirt. Next was Elif Batuman, in from Istanbul, who read from the opening pages of her debut book The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, a tale about being forced to judge the legs of teenage boys at a contest (even rating them 1-10).

Again the mic was turned over to the judges, with Baines praising Evers’ tight crotch references, while Landesman felt Evers was the "Christopher Isherwood of Camden Town" (and also likened him to Tom Wolfe). Baines also praised Batuman’s jilted monotonous delivery. 

The night’s second impossible choice had the judges back-and-forthing for minutes before finally selecting Evers to advance. 

Then came a finale like none before, in which host Todd Zuniga had each finalist draft three volunteers, who then took turns trying to toss Cadbury eggs through the cut out gobs of two of the world’s greatest springtime poets: Lord Alfred Tennyson and William Wordsworth. After eight dramatic tosses, the game was deadlocked, putting the two finalists back at center stage to decide their own fates. And it was a barnburner! Evers struck gold, only to be matched by Tartellin. Tartellin fired an delicious, chocolate-covered egg through Tennyson’s mouth, only to see Evers feed Wordsworth. With the crowd in a frenzy, and chocolate eggs littering the stage, it was Evers that got the edge in overtime, with Tartellin unable to counter. The result: Evers won the prized LDM medal, and literary immortality was all his. 

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References (2)

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  • Response
    The week ahead in literary London Wednesday: It’s Literary Death Match time again (8.15pm, £5
  • Response
    Response: best essay
    An uneducated person always faces different problems and hard situations in the professional and personal life. He has dumb mind because he never realize the importance of education and he has not broaden mind so he always make fool by other sharp and bad person but an educated cannot be cheated ...

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