Friday, May 31, 2013

Convivial quayside kebab with Karim at Crimefest

Peter Guttridge (left) with crime critic/kebab eater Ali Karim.
When the pace slackens and the volume starts to die down at the Crimefest hotel bar, somebody says: "Hey, Ali! Let's go for a kebab!"

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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
On to Day 2, and the arrival of the Irish crime writers.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Blogger Ayo Onatade said...

Thanks Peter. Glad to see that you are enjoying yourself. Have to scour for news about Crimefest online, therefore pleased to read your blog.

May 31, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I just showed the picture to Ali. He'd seen it!

i hope you're enjoying yourself in my country. I'm chatting with Ali at the moment as we wait for a panel that includes Illiam McIlvanney to begin.

May 31, 2013  
Anonymous Maxim Jakubowski said...

Actually, Peter, my team beat Martin Edwards' bunch at last year's Crimefest pub quiz....

But unable to be there this year as conflicts with NYC BEA where I am right now. But have set up the questions for the Criminal Mastermind!

June 01, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I had heard you were in the U.S. A Crimefest Criminal Mastermind without you as quiz master will be like a Crimefest Criminal Mastermind without Martin Edwards as winner. The world goes on, but with a fundamental alternation in the way one perceives it.

I did not take part in the pub quiz last year. I am sorry, in way, to receive evidence that Martin Edwards' once formidable mental powers had fallen off so precipitously that he could be bested. And he hides the decline so well.

June 01, 2013  

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