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London, Ep. 33

May 21, 2013 — In our rip-roaring Covent Garden debut before a sold-out The Hospital Club audience, Literary Death Match showcased a brilliance-fueled night — sponsored by the tastemakers at HarperFiction — that saw Peter Rosengard outduel A.L. Kennedy in Booker Literary Pictionary masterclash by a final score of 8-7, winning him the LDM London, Ep. 33 crown. 

But before Moon Tiger or Remains of the Day made their into Sharpie-drawn form, the night kicked off with James Benmore, who read the opening pages from his novel Dodger, an Oliver Twist-ian tale that had the crowd on the edge of their collective seats. Next up was Kennedy, who read a first-look/hear excerpt from her next book about going into a sex shop and wanting to seem fun, but perfectly detailing the abound-awkwardness. 

The mic was then passed on to the trio of superstar judges: Ben Fountain (Pen/Hemingway & Books Critics Circle Award champ for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk); composer David Arnold (who scored five James Bond films, and LDM favorite Sherlock); and Hils Barker (comedian/writer/presenter). Arnold loved that Benmore looked like a mix of Noddy and Harry Hill, while Benmore's excerpt let Barker imagine Victorian London with Keith Richards and Johnny Depp acting wildly. For Kennedy, Fountain gave her points "for being famous" while Arnold was impressed that she delivered 99% lines without opening her mouth, and Barker loved her for the mod jacket and "the sheer pizazz."

The judges then huddled amongst themselves, before Arnold announced the excruciating decision that it would be Kennedy who would advance as the night's first finalist.

After a booze-fueled intermission, Round 2 commenced with Peter Rosengard (a Guinness Record-breaking life insurance salesman and founder of The Comedy Store) who read a hilarious excerpt from his memoir Talking to Strangers about trying to win over girls, primarily by using superglue to pin his ears back. Finally, it was Rosie Garland who came out fighting by reading an extraordinairely evocative excerpt from her fantastic new novel The Palace of Curiosities about a circus sideshow that featured a man's head being bitten off. 

The mic again went to the judges with Fountain calling Rosengard the best insurance salesman since Wallace Stevens, while Arnold said he had the face of a man that you would trust to babysit your pet. As for Garland, Fountain picked out a bevy of wonderful lines, including "a moustache of dirt." Arnold referred to Garland as "the Jack White of the literary world if Jack White was a woman" and Barker jokingly deducted points for a "lack of thrashing." 

Again the judges deliberated, and it was another split vote — 527 to 526 — as the judges decided it would be Rosengard that advanced as the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM host & creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, who presented the night's finale: Booker Literary Pictionary, in which volunteers from the crowd were tasked with drawing Booker Prize-winning titles while the two finalists raced to call out the name of the book.  After Kennedy took a 3-0 lead, Rosengard stormed back to tie it. Then Kennedy jumped out to a 7-3 lead, with only one round to go — worth five points. While audience members shouted book titles, it was Rosengard who was the first to shout the winner — Remains of the Day — giving him five points, and a wowing come-from-behind victory that netted him not only the Literary Death Match crown, but literary immortality to go with it. 

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Reader Comments (3)

Hello, will there be seats?

Thank you.

May 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSara


May 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLDM

And food? Will there be food?

May 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOrlando

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