Saturday, September 18, 2010

My William Vollmann Story

Back in July, Jim Ruland interviewed me for his Vermin on the Mount blog. He asked about the most unusual experience I've ever had at a reading.

Here's what I had to say...

"Many years ago I saw William Vollmann read at the Booksmith in San Francisco. He walked into the store, stood at the lectern, took a sip of water, and pulled out a gun. Three or four times throughout the reading, he picked up the gun, aimed it at the ceiling, and pulled the trigger. The gun, of course, wasn’t real; it was a cap gun, but it was fucking loud, and I was sitting in the first row. My ears were still ringing the next morning. Vollmann was weird and edgy and intense. He wore a white t-shirt and stalkeresque windbreaker. His glasses were very large. In The Catcher in the Rye, doesn’t Holden say something about how wouldn’t it be great if you read a book and could then call the writer on the phone and become pals? I wouldn’t want to call William Vollmann."


Jason Jordan said...

Yeah, that's weird. I've heard Hunter S. Thompson readings were spectacles.

Andrew Roe said...

Hey Jason,

Oh yeah. I saw Hunter S. Thompson when I was in college. He was completely incoherent. People started leaving.