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?