Last night, I ventured out to the Booksmith on Haight street to see Charles Bock read from Beautiful Children. I was curious because the book got so much attention in the NYT, because Bock is a first time author about my age, and because I really wondered how all the hype would affect his reading.
And: I thought he did a great job. Showering the audience with hand-crafted posters and mixed tapes is a good way to make friends, I admit, but what most impressed me about his reading was how honestly he answered questions afterwards: how he dealt with writing a novel when he felt that he was at a dead end, how he felt as he was writing the book and attempting to find a home for it, how he got the book to the point it is at now, which involved many drafts and some major rethinking. The audience turnout was pretty good, but there were still empty seats, which surprised and dismayed me somewhat. If a book that's getting massive attention can't fill the house, what can?
Upcoming at Booksmith:
Thursday, Feb 21st Charles Baxter
Tuesday, Feb 26, Philip Fradkin