Simon Kurt Unsworth, Chorlton: Event Report

On Sunday 13 November Quiet Houses author Simon Kurt Unsworth returned to the stomping ground of his youth to deliver a reading at Chorlton Library as part of Chorlton Book Festival 2011.

Dressed in his usual extravagant shirt and fancy shoes, Simon was met by a crowd of about twenty. He started proceedings with a brief introduction and then launched into the story The Temple of Relief and Ease from his latest collection Quiet Houses. The story is a slow burner and drew the audience in before delivering its hectic closing blow. The atmosphere was slightly disrupted by a local drunkard, but Simon handled his interruptions like a seasoned professional before the guy headed on his way back to the pub next door.

Simon then treated those in attendance to a story called The Hand Delivered Letter which was taken from supernatural Sherlock Holmes collection Gaslight Grotesque. Delivered in the form of a letter from Professor Moriarty to Holmes, the story unfolds to a gratifying and chilling conclusion; this was without doubt the highlight of an excellent afternoon.

The event was concluded by Simon reading a very short story called Borough Station with some voice acting from his wife Wendy. Simon stated the story was very new, yet it is clearly close to completion as it is already an excellent piece.

Thanks must go out to the staff of Chorlton Library who opened up on their day off to put on an entertaining afternoon in the presence of a gifted writer. His reading style and strong material made for an enthralling and inspiring event.

DAN HOWARTH

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