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London, Ep. 29

September 19, 2012 — In a wild night of wit, whimsy, lit and laughs, the Picador-sponsored night ended with Will Wiles (author of Care of Wooden Floors) outdueling writer/wonder-woman Maggie Alderson to win the Literary Death Match London, Ep. 29 crown. 

But before the finale was even a daydream, the night kicked off with 2011 Bristol Prize short-listee Niven Govinden reading tales of conception anxiety and the breakdown of a marriage from his new novel Black Bread White Beer. Then up stepped writer, editor Maggie Alderson to read from ‘In Bed With’ –outing herself from her ghost-written tale of a woman fantasising about giving head to the man of her desires.

The mic was then turned over to the panel of all-star judges: Helen Smith (author of brand-new The Miracle Inspector), comedian Wendy Wason and multiple award-winning comedian/writer/actor Tom Allen! Wendy kicked off commentary-proceedings by demanding to know everyone’s porn names, while Helen sang the praises of Niven’s heartfelt piece.

After a long deliberation, and by the narrowest of margins, the judges elected to move Maggie on as the night's first finalist. 

After a boozy intermission, Round 2 featured rock n roll writer Zoe Howe and Desmond Elliott Prize long-listee Will Wiles. Zoe read tales of rock ‘n’ roll disaster, as a member of a band is kidnapped and an emergency band meeting is held by a homicidal band-manager. Will read from Care of Wooden Floors; a hapless house-sitter stumbles upon his obsessive-compulsive friend’s porn stash. 

Again the mic was handed to the judges, where Helen Smith told Zoe that she loved ‘the evocation of a world she didn’t know’ and Tom Allen told Will: “You had me at neat-Nazi”.

Again, another impossible choice, but it was Wiles who was led to the LDM finale slaughter, as the night's second finalist. 

Then co-hosts Suzanne Azzopardi and Bruno Vincent invited gobs of volunteers on stage, where each held the name of an author and a book title. Suzanne read lines of insults from the novels and it was up to our finalists to guess from which books the quotes originated. It was closely fought but despite Maggie claiming that Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange was among her favourite books, it was that guess that lost her the deciding point, and Will Wiles took the 29th Literary Death Match London crown.

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