Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cheltenham

I enjoyed the reading at Cheltenham last night although I was slightly annoyed by how rusty I'd become since I last did one.

My performance felt woolly and shapeless at the start and I don't think I pulled it into proper shape until we got into the Q&A part of things.

I always like the Q&A bit, not least because it makes each night different for me and stops the evenings becoming routine. It was certainly interesting last night to find the questions were a bit more writerly than normal. Maybe it's a consequence of being part of a literary festival. Or maybe it's what happens when an audience breathes in Cheltenham's refined air. Or maybe it's simply because the book's now been out for quite a while and so more of the audience have actually read it and so have opinions and questions that relate to the content. I hadn't expected that - most readings happen so soon after publication that you can safely assume nobody there has read it - but I enjoyed it for all that.

7 comments:

Lucy said...

Hi Dave,

Thanks so much for coming to the Cheltenham Literature Festival, it was great to see you live for the first time. One question I wanted to ask was, did you allow yourself to enjoy the America Unchained challenge that you had set yourself?

In the talk, you spoke mainly about how difficult a task it was to achieve, and the low points. It seemed that you generally had a difficult time of it. I just felt that the book had a much lighter overall range of tone than the film documentary or the talk (although maybe this is subjective), and wondered how you felt overall about the whole experience. Anyway I loved the book and am so glad that you lived it & wrote it.

By the way, did you notice that the shirt you were wearing that evening has a face?

with best wishes,

Lucy

Dave Gorman said...

Thanks Lucy... glad you liked the book. I would do the journey again at the drop of a hat because I loved it. It was hugely enjoyable. It had low points - but as I explained in Cheltenham - they help to illuminate the good points. If the evening in Cheltenham focussed more on the downside, I guess that's because the questions led me that way. It's just occurred to me that nobody asked me "What was your favourite of the places you stayed?"

It must be the first time I've done a reading for this book without that question (or similar) being asked...

Emma said...

I liked that it was wasn't super-slick and over rehearsed. It fitted with the subject... and made the end bit... well obviously the horrendously British emotional cripple in me is saying awkward... but swallowing that, important and... um... real? No... weighty? Maybe weighty.

Anyway, it was a good advert for the book, and I am gonna try my darndest to get my book group to read it next month.

(Was that Sandi Toksvig chatting to you in the bookshop tent? Has the Call My Bluff offer finally come in?)

Dave Gorman said...

Thanks Emma. The answer to your Sandi Toksvig enquiries are a) yes and b) no.

Lucy said...

Cheers Dave - maybe we're a miserable bunch that only wanted to hear about the downside! :-S Good luck in your next project & keep up the great work!

Jenny said...

Hi Dave
Really enjoyed Friday night. Thats us in the front row! I would like to say it's because we are such big fans that we were queueing outside the tent from the night before- but really it was because we didn't realise it wouldnt take that long to get to Cheltenham and got there half hour too early ;-)Just to let you know that we are off to Oz on a road trip next month and are trying to avoid the "big chain" hotels along the way as inspired by your good self. Hopefully will encounter loads of wacky locals, but no-one pulling a gun on us.
Cheers
Jenny "Avenue D Gorman photo in California" (you didn't go there on your travels?) and Ritchie "yes that IS his real name"

deaglan said...

hey fave,

loved you in chelt. i didnt get to ask my question which was gutting - so here goes.

was there any point on the trip that summed up the whole reason for doing it?