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Neil Gaiman in Wellington

Saturday evening was spent at Neil Gaimans's talk.  It was his part in the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

We went with our friends Jen, Dom & Jordan. 

The compere (she seemed nice) introduced him as the Amadaus Mozart of postmodernist literature.  Aside from the fact that I usually detest the term "postmodern" when assumed to mean anything (can you define it satisfactorily?), I thought it was quite a clever description.

The talk itself was excellent - he read 3 short poems. I can't remember the order, but they were:
1) A story called "My Last Landlady" about a murderous landlady in an unnamed English seaside town.  Sounds like Brighton.
2) A story about the bones of Saint Odhrán buried under the church on the Island of Iona which is just of the west coast of Scotland.  Downpatrick, the town I went to school in, gets a breif mention :)
3) A beautiful poem (which he described as his credo) about reading Goldilocks to his daughter.

The whole audience was entranced, and I particularly loved the story of the Island of Iona.  I'd read quite a lot of stuff about this when I was a teenager, and it reminded me of that.

After his readings, there was a short interview by the compare.  She asked some questions, he answered intelligently.  I can't really remember much more of it. Then some questions from the floor.

Finally he read a short passage from American Gods - one of my favourite books.  After that, mayhem as everyone pushed to get to the signing table.  Of course, we all piled out to get in line.  We waited for nearly 3 hours, but managed to get some nice signatures which made it worth it :)

I had him sign a copy of Good Omens which is one of my favourite books from when I was 17.  Jacqui got two - Coraline and her Spanish translation of Stardust.

Here's some photographic evidence.

Excellent evening all in all.


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