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London, Ep. 52

September 1, 2015 — In celebrate of the 400th Literary Death Match in world history, we hurtled towards London's Century Club for a whizbang affair of delight, lit and laughs that ended with Catherine Chanter narrowly outdueling Andy Miller in a Literary Triathlon to win Chanter the LDM London, Ep. 52 (and LDM400) crown. 

But before the finally was even a thought, the genius evening kicked off with Andy Miller, author of The Year of Reading Dangerously33 1/3 and Tilting at Windmills, who reading from his tips for reading books and a takedown of Jonathan Jones's takedown of Terry Pratchett (in which he, at one point, channeled Stewart Lee). Next up was Amelia Kallman, burlesque dancer and author of Diary of a Shanghai Showgirl, who read in full showgirl regalia, performing a delightful piece about teasing Piers Morgan at a Shanghai show.

Then the mic was handed over to the trio of all-star judges: Stephanie Merritt, arts reviewer, alter-ego of bestselling novelist SJ Parris (HeresyProphecy); Sean McCann, improv mastermind and co-star and founding member of Showstopper!; and Philippa Perry, top selling author, Red's Agony Aunt, broadcaster. The three laid praise on both authors — Miller's chutzpah; Kallman's daring — before deciding it would be Miller who would advance as the night's first finalist. 

Then came Round 2, featuring Chanter, the multi-award-winning author of The Well (Yeovil Poetry Prize and Lucy Cavendish Prize), who read a startling excerpt from her lauded novel about a couple who move to the country, and during a drought, they live on the only land that gets rainfall. Finally it was Martin FiguraTed Hughes Prize award-winning poet and author of Whistle, who read a trio of knockout poems: one about having sex when you're almost 60; one about the obsessions of his Down Syndrome's daughter; and finally a poem about how your kids fuck you up. 

Again the judges were center stage, with all three cheering both the work and the performances of both authors, but after a long deliberation, the three decided it would be Chanter who would advance as the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga who announced the finale: a Literary Triathlon in which the authors had to spell complicated author names, call out the book being slammed in a one-star Amazon book review, and also score at Literary Pictionary. After two grueling rounds, and with everything to play for, it was Chanter who scored the winning blow in Round 3, winning her the LDM London, Ep. 52 medal, and literary immortality to go with it.