Monday, 23.8.2010.

Let’s go backstage.  Meet Zadie, the puddle director and her able assistant, Hilary.

Edinburgh Book Festival Puddle Director and Assistant

Both of whom, like the best managers, have understood the art of delegation.  It was, I noticed, Tom, the puddle supervisor,  at the wettest edge today.

Tom, puddle supervisor

Day 10 and the inevitable happened.  The day on which the survival kit became both necessary and superfluous.  It didn’t rain, it deluged!  The upside for the book festival is that it was,  probably, the day which yielded the most sales in the strategically placed shelter from the Scottish elements, the source of all temptation …. 

The Book Shop

Signed Copies

Zadie and her team have it well sussed.  Even though you know it’s a given,  I, of course, cannot tell you, the depths of my surrender to these particular temptations because I don’t want to give any clues with regard to my Edinburgh Book Festival competition

Peter Guttridge, Alex Capus and Carsten Jensen

If I wasn’t sheltering in the Book Shop, I was to be found once more in the Writer’s Retreat, venue for most foreign fiction events and on 23.8.2010, site of possibly the most courageous act of the 2010 book festival.  Alex Capus, Swiss author, came to Edinburgh, home of Robert Louis Stevenson, to identify the real Treasure Island and propound one or two controversial Stevensonian theories, including the statement that Robert Louis wasn’t a genius.  The ensuing hush was palpable and it is evidence of the geniality and tolerance of the Edinburgh book festival audience that Capus left Charlotte Square alive ….

Carsten Jensen spoken eloquently of his recently voted best Danish novel of the last 25 years.  More of this at a future date because right now, I have to say, this novel is at the top of my post-festival TBR.   Whether this is due to his eloquence, or to the feeling that I had on the day that Zadie and her amphibious team were the only inhabitants of Charlotte Square in their element, it is hard to say.  But on Monday 23.8.2010, I had more affinity with this book title than with anything else. 

We, The Drowned