Mark Billingham – The dog’s bollocks!

Sleepyhead
Sleepyhead

What is wrong with people, why weren’t they at Mark Billingham’s comedy romp through the world of crime? Shame on Christchurch’s Lazybones, Sleepyheads and Scaredy cats! A very skinny crowd wasn’t it?

Bronwyn: It was, but those of us who were there were well rewarded. Who would have thought that stand-up comedy and crime fiction had so much in common. Comedy and crime writing , Mark considers, both have the aim to lead the audience down a path and deliver an unexpected punchline. Crime just has a darker punch.

Joyce: It’s a confidence game, Billingham reckons. He also had a lot to say about literary fiction versus the crime genre. Actually he became somewhat demented at this point, and with good reason. He sees a lot of bias against and snobbery directed at crime fiction particularly from the English broadsheets.

Bronwyn: Yes, he finds it frustrating that literary fiction is always measured by its very best examples and crime fiction by its very worst. Popularity is the biggest crime in literary circles, “good gawd you actually want to sell books, how terribly vulgar”!

Joyce: He also commented on female dominance in the crime writing and publishing industry. It’s women doing the slicing and dicing these days while the male writers navel gaze. Why?

He said it’s because women understand fear.

Bronwyn: Joyce made her own contribution to the proceedings with her reaction to Mark’s comment on lady bits (those of you there will know what i’m talking about).

Joyce: Yeah, I think Mark’s research into the physical symptoms of pregnancy needed a bit of a tweak, phnar, phnar!! But good on him for having a pregnant female protagonist, how very Fargo.  I enjoyed Chris McVeigh as chair, he had a very understated wit which worked well in contrast.

Bronwyn: Yep I loved McVeigh’s choice of passage to read out, especially the reference to the albino bulldog’s bollocks.

Joyce: And all in an incredibly plummy voice, I do always think naughty words sound so much better when uttered in aristocratic tones, don’t you Bronwyn?

Bronwyn: Sure – but the bigger point that McVeigh was making was that Mark Billingham is a master of characterisation through dialogue.

Joyce: Yah boo sucks and nyanyanyanyanya to all you losers who missed out on Mark Billingham, his intelligent, witty conversation and disarming smile.

3 thoughts on “Mark Billingham – The dog’s bollocks!

  1. Mo-mo 8 September 2008 / 4:45 pm

    Right, well thanks for that very incisive summing up Joyce. I feel suitably envious (and slightly bullied).

  2. Joycie 9 September 2008 / 10:47 am

    Me, bully La Mo-mo, impossible!!
    I heard Billingham on Katherine Ryan’s show yesterday and he used all the same gags and answered word for word on many of the questions…I think the scales have fallen from my eyes. Sniff

  3. Jane 9 September 2008 / 2:30 pm

    That’s what happens when you lie around home, drinking cups of coffee, eating tintams and listening to National Radio! I wonder if it is more about the fact that he is asked the same sort of questions all the time?

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