Convivial quayside kebab with Karim at Crimefest
|Peter Guttridge (left) with crime critic/kebab eater Ali Karim.|
Only hours after the photo above was snapped, I joined Ali Karim and Mike Stotter for refreshment procured from a late-night kebabery and consumed on a quayside bench. By day, Bristol's quay bustles. By night, under the stars of a cool spring sky, it's a delightful place to recount the highlights of the festival's first day.
For me, these included:
- Valerio Varesi's citation of Carlo Emilio Gadda as a forefather of Italian crime writing. I'd mentioned Giorgio Scerbanenco as one such but, since the introduction to my edition of Gadda's That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana invokes such names as Robert Musil and James Joyce, I'd figured Italians might regard Gadda as a literary rather than a crime writer. Varesi thanked me for citing Scerbanenco, but he also said: "There's another great forerunner: Carlo Emilio Gadda." Varesi also said, in response to a question from the floor about which countries' crime fiction each of the panel's authors liked to read, that he enjoyed French crime writing. This made sense to me, as his atmospheric fiction reminds me a bit of Georges Simenon, Fred Vargas, and Pierre Magnan.
- Meeting up with Detectives Beyond Borders favorite John Lawton, and buttonholing guest of honor William McIlvanney at the bar and finding that this author of the Laidlaw novels, revered by authors and readers as the father of Scottish crime writing, is a fine gentleman.
- My pub quiz team's coming within a second tie-breaker question of being the first group or person ever to best Martin Edwards at anything at Crimefest.
© Peter Rozovsky 2013