Saturday 1 May 2010

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

This week's miscellany comes to you on a Saturday morning, because I was a dirty stop-up last night, and didn't get back from London until about 2am. What *would* my mother say. Whilst in London, I had the very great pleasure of dinner with the lovely Claire (Paperback Reader) and the equally lovely Teresa (one half of Shelf Love - a pun it took me two years to get). Teresa was over visiting from the US of A - a brief discussion ensued which revealed my total lack of geographical knowledge about the US; thank goodness we didn't start on the counties of England - and it was very nice to meet her, and see Claire again - thanks guys! When we left each other, we went to the extremes of the cultural spectrum. They went to see Macbeth at the Globe; I went with my friend Phil (also responsible for my blog feed appearing on Twitter, thanks Phil!) to see The Room: 'The Best Worst Film Ever Made'. It's written, directed, and starred in by Tommy Wiseau, a man without any discernible talent - unless unquashable self-belief is a talent. They hold screenings for people to mock it - and the cinema was sold out. Audience Participation includes:
  • Throwing plastic spoons at the screen whenever a framed picture of a spoon appears. Which they do. A lot. There were literally hundreds, probably thousands, of spoons.
  • Shouting 'Meanwhile, in San Francisco' whenever another shot of San F appears.
  • Shouting 'Hello, Denny!' and 'Bye, Denny!' whenever said character enters or leaves a room.
  • Shouting 'Who the heck are you?' when a character is replaced half-way through the film by another actor, who looks nothing like the first guy.
  • Mocking the film's misogyny by shouting 'because you're a woman' at the end of many and various lines of dialogue.
  • One character says how much he likes 'The candles, the music, and your sexy dress.' None of these things are in the scene - so, naturally, it provokes the united audience reaction "What candles? What music? What sexy dress?"
  • Joining in with this particular scene...
  • etc. etc. etc.!
So, yes, lots of shouting. And not remotely literary. But one of the most fun evenings I've had for a while...

Oh dear, I've just got distracted by looking up The Room on Wikipedia, and then reading interviews and articles about it... when instead I should be telling you about a book, a blog post, and a link...

1.) The blog post - is over at Cornflower Books, where Karen is trying to create a profile for the 'typical' reader of her blog, by asking three questions... go and answer, it's fun!

2.) The book - arrived yesterday, courtesy of Hayley at Desperate Reader, as I won it in a competition. Thanks Hayley! It's Andrina and other stories by George Mackay Brown. I'm always on the look-out for more short stories, and keen to read more Scottish writers too, so I'm intrigued by this one. Despite my love of some short story writers, somehow I hardly ever get around to reading collections - I'll make sure I do better with this one. Read what Hayley had to say about the book here.

3.) The link - I'm afraid I haven't come across anything notable and bookish this week. So, on the off-chance that you're still intrigued by The Room... click here.

And don't forget that Persephone Reading Week kicks off on Monday... I just hope you haven't been foolish and scheduled in Jude the Obscure for the same week...


  1. George MacKay Brown is wonderful and everyone should read more of him! He is one of the few authors who wrote poems, short stories and novels that were of equal quality. His novel Greenvoe is highly recommended.

  2. Well you have had a good time so good for you. I did go over to Cornflower books. That was some disparity in the range of reading done by readers.

  3. It was lovely to see you again too, Simon! I'm delighted that you were able to join us.

    The Room screening certainly sounds interactive! Macbeth was a little too...

    I must look up George Mackay Brown as I must admit I haven't heard of him before.

  4. George Mackay Brown is wonderful, which I might have mentioned a few times, I love his short stories but haven't got stuck into the poetry yet. I hope you enjoy him Simon

  5. Another George Mackay Brown fan here!

  6. Interesting blog. I happened upon your website as I was looking for book recommendations. I've been reading a great fiction medical thriller book this weekend called "The Ovary Wars" by Mike Hogan. It's about a declining human population on earth and the government is trying to find out what's causing it...terrorism or something else.

  7. P.S. Thank you for the Persephone Reading Week mention and here's hoping that Jude remains obscure ;)

  8. It was great to meet you Friday!

    And, just so you know, the Scottish play wasn't all high culture. There was some audience participation, as Claire mentions, and I'll just say drunken porter, bucket, and bodily fluids and let you imagine the rest!

  9. tea lady - looking forward to finding out more...

    Mystica - I did have a wonderful time, though very silly

    Claire - always lovely to see you :-) I'm glad Macbeth wasn't *too* sensible..

    Hayley - thanks again!

    Karen - well, if the Scots endorse it... (or are you still a Manx at heart? Is that right, or am I making that up...)

    Betty - intriguing...

    Teresa - the mind boggles! Lovely to meet you too :-)


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