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London, Ep. 23

March 15, 2012 — The Ides of March were well-served at Literary Death Match at Concrete, a brilliant Picador-sponsored night that saw Limehouse Books-rep Sophia Blackwell topple co-finalist Rachel Genn with a come-from-behind victory at a hotly-contested Literary Pictionary finale that won Blackwell the LDM London, Ep. 23 crown. 

But before the finale was even a thought, the night kicked off with Genn (author of The Cure) leading off with a tale of awkwardness between boy and girl at a swimming pool (“Boys. If a girl asks you to go to a swimming pool with her, say no.”), followed by cartoonist/screenwriter Andy Riley (author of The Book of Bunny Suicides and scriptwriter of Gnomeo & Juliet) who read a beautifully-paced story about a tortoise who wants an apple, and lives until the end of the world. 

The mic was then handed over to the trio of all-star judges: the ceaselessly charming Nick Harkaway (author of Angelmaker and The Gone-Away World), Mr "The Man Who Fell Asleep" himself, Greg Stekelman, and the hilarious actress/comedian Wendy Wason

About Genn, Harkaway said her story reminded him of his life from age 15-25. While Wason said that the way Geen described the worst kind of pervert infers that there is a ‘best kind of pervert’ and Stekelman said, “I grew up in swimming baths so that brought back a lot of happy memories.” About Riley, Harkaway said it was Kurt Vonnegut done by Homer while Wason praised his choice of clothing: "I love the suit, it has a corset built in." And Stekelman said his piece took him back to his own childhood as a tortioise. After a very difficult decision, the judges decided it was Genn who would advance on as the night's first finalist. 

After a booze-filled break, Round 2 kicked off with novelist/cultural commentator Stewart Home (author of Blood Rites for the Bourgeoisie and Memphis Underground) who executved a masterful LDM first: after laying out a yoga mat, he stood on his head and recited author’s names mixed into penis enlargement spam (with the announced goal of having absolutely no literary merit). Next up was Limehouse Books-rep Blackwell (author of After My Own Heart), who described an evening at a burlesque night with Evie Day. 

the mic then went back to the judges, with Harkaway saying of Home, "Sorry, but you were very literary." And Wason admitting that when Home walked onto stage with his huge bag, she thought he was an assassin. Stekelman said the story reminded him of his own childhood filled with penis enlargement spam. About Blackwell, Harkway praised her rich narrative while Wason confessed she wanted to see Blackwell in a burlesque outfit. 

Again, the judges were faced with an impossible task, and this time they selected Blackwell to advance on as the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Todd Zuniga and LDM London Executive Producer Suzanne Azzopardi. While Azzopardi held blank posterboard, Zuniga invited randoms from the crowd to come up as draw-ers for Literary Pictionary, tasked with drawing book from the Guardian's 100 Best Books of All-Time (the first finalist to guess three correct books would be declared winner). After a 2-1 lead by Genn, Blackwell stormed all the way back with two straight answers in a dramatic finish that won her the Literary Death Match London, Ep. 23 crown, and literary immortality to go with it! 

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