Neil and Len

by Suw on November 8, 2005

I absolutely promise this'll be the last post about Neil Gaiman for a while. Absolutely. Promise.
Tonight was the 'Lenny Henry interviews Neil Gaiman in front of about 1000 people' thing, which I had previously sworn blind I wouldn't go to, but then was invited to and I couldn't possibly turned down such a kind invitation. And I'm glad I went, because it would have been criminal to miss out on Neil and Len, not to mention churlish.
Neil has a great sense of humour. If you've read any of his stuff you know this already, but what you don't realise is that he also has a great sense of comic timing too. Lenny, being a comic, patently must have a great sense of comic timing, so that comes as no real surprise to anyone. But the two of them together were quite hysterical.
It's always hard to discuss comedy because I just can't convey to you just how funny it was to see them play off each other. The fact that they're friends helps – the little looks and in jokes and prior knowledge all served to make their chat that bit more intimate, that bit more revealing, that bit funnier.
Plus I think I'd always happy to see Lenny taking the piss out of Neil in front of 1000 people. Class bit of work.
What was also nice was that this evening's event allowed me to introduce t'other to the delight that is Neil's writing, even though it be by proxy through Lenny's and Neil's readings. And the readings were fantastic. Lenny read an Anansi Boys passage where Fat Charlie wakes up with a hangover, and Neil read the bit where Fat Charlie learns his father's died, and the rather embarrassing circumstances of his passing away. Both most chortlesome.
(And it amused me no end to find that vodka and orange was blamed, considering the vodka and orange truffles. I think I forgot to mention the orange when I explained the vodka and chocolates.)
I really can't wait for Christmas. I am going to take two weeks off, and I swear I am going to do nothing but read books. And sleep. My pile of unread books is getting scary now. I think it's probably about 3ft deep. It's worrying when you start measuring your reading list in terms of depth, rather than number of books. (I did have an unread magazine pile that was starting to get to 4ft, at which point I sorted it out, and gave them all to my Dad to read instead, in a sort of electric monk sort of way, so that I didn't have to.)
Anyway, it was a truly delightful evening. When we left, I think Neil was preparing himself to sign a ludicrously large number of books. In fact, there's every possibility he's still there now, pen in hand, scrawling Nial Gahman… Neal Giamon… Narly Granim…

Anonymous November 9, 2005 at 7:58 am

You know what I like…that I can read about it on this blog, on Mr. Gaiman's blog, and on Scaryduck's blog, and get the same event told from three different perspectives.
Damn, I wish I hadn't been working that evening…
Oh, and it's nice of Mr.Gaiman to pimp ORG on his blog – I suspect those last 69 will be soon flooding in…
Oh…and I'm jealous, you lucky cow!

Anonymous November 9, 2005 at 6:11 pm

An excellent evening, and I can confirm that Mr Henry is just as funny off-stage as he is on. Poor, poor Neil spent the entire evening signing books – his backstage room was heaving with copies of Anansi Boys.

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