The weekend of November 8th I had the pleasure of attending two very different but equally incredible literary events. Thursday night I went to a poetry reading that I wrote about for the Ooligan Press blog (my piece won’t be up until the 20th, but I’ll make sure to share the link! Hint: it includes a 7-year-old boy in a bloody ghost costume reading a poem about butchering chickens) and on Friday evening I went to Lemony Snicket’s reading at the Beaverton Powell’s.
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it was probably the best author reading I’ve ever been to. Not that I’ve been to many author readings anyway, because hardly anyone exciting goes to Spokane… although I did get to see David Shields last winter at Gonzaga, which was neat... but I digress.
I got there right as Daniel Handler was starting the event. AKA, “Lemoy Snicket didn’t show up… and I'm his manager, so I guess I’ll do the slideshow he prepared … and maybe read some of his book…” The whole mystery thing he puts on for the kids. They love it. The room was positively buzzing. And packed. There were probably about 70 people there.
|Mr. Snicket standing on a chair in the middle of the audience. Screaming, obviously.|
I honestly have no idea how the slideshow he gave relates to the book, but I don’t care really because it was hilarious. He joked with the parents, there was a lot of yelling, and he picked some volunteers from the audience to read a few things. He kept making references to the note that “Lemony Snicket” left him detailing how the event would have proceeded, had he been there, saying that though Mr. Snicket’s note said he’d run out of the room screaming at a particular point in the night, he himself was made of much sterner stuff and would not be doing anything of the sort.
|My pictures are blurry and the worst, I know.|
So he read some of the first chapter from Who Could that be at This Hour?, as he walked out into the audience and used them to help act out what he was reading. Example: if he read “She had a flower in her hair,” he’d look at the woman he was standing by, make an exasperated face and say, “Really? Do I have to do everything myself?” Then he’d pull a flower out of his suit’s pocket and plop it on her head.
He got to a point in the chapter where the main character excuses himself from the table to have a secret rendezvous. “I stood up and left,” Mr. Handler read. And then he ran screaming shrilly from the room.
It sounds so anticlimactic now that I type this out. However, I assure you it was the most brilliant thing I’ve ever seen, and it was enough to convince me to buy his two newest books.
|This is why I should never be allowed in bookstores or at author readings unattended.|
…and a few others I’d been eyeing for a while.
I waited probably two hours to have him sign my books, and was a little disappointed when it was finally my turn. He was lively and talkative to everyone else, but when I got to the front of the line he simply signed my books and handed them back to me. Not even with my name! For shame, Mr. Snicket. For shame.
Okay, I was pretty disappointed. His books were my childhood. But I’m guessing he was probably tired (I was almost at the end of the line) and he was probably not sure if/how he should make conversation with me since, well, I’m not a kid he can just sing songs to. I’ll admit it, I was one of the only people there who wasn’t accompanying a child. I was also the only 20-something there. No one else would go with me, okay? Not that I had a problem going by myself; I had quite a bit of fun. Free entertainment on what would otherwise be a boring Friday night? Can't go wrong there.
I also got this cool free t-shirt:
|Yes, it's a child's large. And yes, it fits me perfectly. I have no shame.|
Overall though, it was a great way to spend my evening. Way better than sitting alone in my apartment. And if you haven’t picked up any of the Lemony Snicket books, well, why haven’t you? They’re so clever. I would't say they're literary masterpieces, but they get kids interested in reading, which is the important part.
Have you read any of the Lemony Snicket books? Should I go to more author readings?