20 December 2010

As good a man as the good old city knew

This weekend I atoned for some of the jokes I've made at Charles Dickens' expense at the Housing Works CHRISTMAS CAROL marathon. I missed Scott Adsit (Pete Hornberger on "30 Rock") and Francine Prose but caught a lot of the celebrity readers, including Kurt Andersen ("Studio 360"/ HEYDAY, formerly of "Spy," "New York," etc), Justin Taylor (EVERYTHING HERE IS THE BEST THING EVER -- good gravy he looks so young) and Mary Gaitskill (VERONICA -- best dressed of all the readers). I wish I remembered who the guy who kept apologizing for his Cockney accent, saying he sounded like Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins" -- anyone?

Listening to Dickens aloud is such a fundamentally different experience from reading him. I had to read A CHRISTMAS CAROL in seventh grade I think [private school! Christmas lit for everyone!] and I remember boredly skimming it; I haven't seen the stage version in a handful of years. But maybe this Dickens is meant to be read aloud; even his lists have poetry to them.

Anyway, the New Yorker Book Bench has a nice write-up and a photo in which you can just barely see me. Unrelated, one of the $1 carts has a full set of A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME in paperback (4 volumes), so if you need those books you should buy them. It was only with extremity that I pried them out of my own hands.

1 comment:

Wade Garrett said...

This sounds like a very cool event - I need to check it out one of these years.

That is a great price for the four-volume set, despite the fact that the Housing Works Cafe is generally quite expensive by used bookstore-standards.