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Posts Tagged ‘DBC Pierre’

‘Humiliation’ Taken to Logical Extremes

Author David Lodge popularized a game where you go around in a circle and name a book you claim to have read when in fact you haven’t, and now a new survey conducted in Britain conducted by a researcher at the University of Leeds doesn’t just confirm this practice, but reveals the titles least likely to have been read even as they are bought in droves. In non-fiction, political memoirs by David Blunkett and Bill Clinton top the list, with David Beckham‘s MY SIDE in third place. For fiction, the top “dog” is DBC Pierre‘s VERNON GOD LITTLE followed by the 4th Harry Potter volume and ULYSSES.

Four out of 10 of the 4,000 people polled said they could not concentrate on long titles and less than a quarter found time to read every day. Feeling tired and watching television instead were the main reasons for not finding time to read, with a fifth of people claiming it was because they worked late. “The research illustrates that the pressure of finding time for reading is the main factor when it comes to discarding a book unfinished,” said researcher Kevin Killeen.

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Mixing Wellies with Bikinis

That’s about my favorite line from Robert McCrum‘s summary of the 2nd annual Cartagena Literary Festival, the result of Colombia’s quest for a fresh international narrative coinciding with the Hay Festival‘s ambitions to take off from Wales and bring contemporary literature to the wider world.According to Hay festival director Peter Florence, the choice of Cartagena is a no-brainer: the secret of a successful literary festival ‘is all to do with location’. Eventually, Florence says he wants to launch similar venues in the US.

Speaking of Hay UK, he admits to McCrum ‘we have been Anglocentric for too long. The fact is: we’re 20 years old; we’ve got a big audience; we have to go global.’ Last week’s sold-out events at Cartagena vindicated Florence’s smooth PR. There were appearances from Wole Soyinka, Junot Diaz, Manuel Rivas, DBC Pierre and rising stars Jorge Volpi and Tishani Doshi. Oh and don’t forget Christopher Hitchens; he was the opening speaker.