The Edinburgh Book Festival and PUSH Reviewed Lit Fiend Style

by joseph ridgwell

joe r

Although a select circle of diehard lit fiends are aware that I currently reside in Edinburgh – thankfully very few others do. As a resident of Auld Reekie one has the misfortune to be hit with an extended festival once a year which for the city’s populace is usually nothing more than a minor irritant – people crossing the road whilst reading tourist map – extended journey’s home from or to work – demented buskers- desperate comedians – hundreds of lost people wandering around asking where the Castle is when they are in Castle Street – not having the correct change when boarding a Lothian bus etc.

Thus being a lit fiend with all my faculties intact it is my prerogative to give the whole charade a wide-birth and lay low for the entire soul-sapping period. Unfortunately this year I was sucked into the nuttiness by fiendish fellow lit fiend – Editor of the mighty PUSH -(Europe’s best-selling sold on the street lit zine) Joe England, who being an erudite chap brought a copy of a book that all lit fiends should have in their possession as a present. Note for lit fiends – if looking to stay at a fellow fiends residence it’s always a nice touch to arrive bearing gifts! (see below)

olympia

So as you can see, there was nothing I could do but tag along and see what illuminations might occur – if any.

After sojourning to the Bailie – Edina’s No 1 lit fiend boozer – where I would’ve happily stayed all night England landed the maverick on me.

– Ridgwell – I just have to check out the book festival

– Don’t do it Joe, it will only lead to disappointment and anxiety. Stay sane until tomorrow night when you will have the pleasure of hearing Mr Rebel Inc and Miss Urchin Belle reading at Neu Reekie.

– I can’t wait that long – I have an overwhelming desire to go there NOW!

– Okay, but thou hast been warned.

With that we – two diehard lit fiends – sojourned to the Edinburgh Book Festival in Charlotte Square. As soon as we got there we knew we had made a  fatal mistake, a classic schoolboy error, for immediately we entered we were surrounded by walking cadavers.
– What is this shit?’ said Joe – gazing around dejectedly.
-This is the book festival crowd.
-Everyone looks dead.
– I’m not sure if they are dead, but they are definitely unawakened.
-Do you think I should try to sell them a copy of PUSH?
-Don’t bother – these fruits do not read books. They buy books to say that they have bought the book – then they offload the book to the nearest charity shop
-Strange turds
– And anyway you’re bound to sell them all at Neu Reekie. I say we hit the pubs

With that we left the moribund environs of the Edinburgh Book Festival and hit a few decent Auld Reekie boozers. Here we encountered the alive residents of Scotland’s Capital. A man who looked like he had survived ten thousand hangovers – A bloke called Ron who gave Joe England a cigar and bought a copy of PUSH – a couple of posh English kids who I illuminated by giving them some lit fiend insider info on cult authors and a copy of the One O’Clock Gun – a friendly barmaid – and an old geezer with a purple hooter. You see, the pub is where you find people who’s spirit has yet to be broken, the people who recognise that life is short so you better well enjoy it while ya can!

And as you can see from this pic – when the two days festivities were over – Joe England – despite the fact the bed was only four inches to his left – deign to sleep on the floor of my little kingdom in true Zen Lunatic fashion.

joe e floor

Well he’s gone now and as it is close to the witching hour I’m gonna put one plate in front of another and hit St Bernard’s for a few hair of the dogs and some erudite conversation.  So long suckers – and remember if a book is described as experimental what that really means is that it’s unreadable. Alright – now don’t go changing and stay true to the Lit Fiend cause!

bernies

Milk Race Fans. Don’t panic. I’ve got a real treat coming up – some bonafide High Res 8MM action – for all your tug-boat champions. Feast your mince pies on this stunning example of the female of the species!

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