Never one to give up, and having plenty of time on my hands in the evenings, we decided to try another reading. This time we chose a very sparsely described reading at a restaurant. By sparsely described I mean that the event had a time, a two or three word description, and a place. Well, almost a place: if the title of the listing hadn’t been the town name we wouldn’t have known where it was.
To find out more we checked all our usual (Internet) sources and discovered that the restaurant is in the nearby town of Langwedel and that the reading was to be by the German crime author Jörg Böhm who, I imagine, hardly anyone has heard of outside northern Germany. The restaurant web site told us precious little more about the event, aside from time and address. Another check brought us to the web site for the author himself, which also gave precious little information – a one-liner on where and when just the same as every other listing. Despite this we decided to go.
Photo Source: Janaina C. Falkiewicz – Creative Commons
No one in German crime reading circles seems to be able to get the time right. We were early – that half hour again – but had the right place. Outside a well-lit and very interesting looking restaurant, public house, bar, event center we found a noticeboard advertizing the event in chalk on a blackboard. Inside we found a few fliers and another board which told us something we would have loved to know before setting off: the reading includes a three-course meal and needs to be booked in advance.
Since the magazine entry, the restaurant web site and the author’s web site didn’t mention this insignificant fact or the thirty-eight Euro costs, we had a journey out to Langwedel for nothing, turned around and went home again. A friend who did stay – but also didn’t know about the meal and so on – was given a chair at the side and heard the talk – which he decided was good and friendly when the book wasn’t being read, but somewhat flat for the text itself – right up until the main course was served. Rather than wait until everyone had finished eating for the talk / reading to continue, he gave up and went home too.
When it comes to crime books, it is good to have the information you need to solve the crime spread out over many pages rather than thrown at you all in one go. The reader invariably appreciates the chance to work out for themselves what has happened, who is responsible and so on. For a crime book reading, however, especially one where more than just the reading is involved, it is of great benefit to have all the information available right from the first moment.
- Viktoria Michaelis.