“Don’t hold back” I encouraged this unusual behaviour.
“Our Salons are wonderful.”
I beamed all over the face. “Thank you.”
“Guess why?” she said.
“Because of my delicious potato salad?”
“Because of the great whiskies?”
I was defeated. “Come on, tell me.”
“The spoilers. You allow spoilers at the Salon. Indeed you encourage them. My ancient Greek heart just loves them because they make good discussion possible.”
On Saturday we held our 14th Salon. Pia Juul in conversation with Melissa Benn. Melissa called me on Friday and asked if she needed to avoid spoilers.
“Half of the attendees are subscribers and will have read the book anyway,” I explained. “And the other half are happy to follow the discussion between the author and the informed readers.” Melissa was relieved.
Frankly, I don’t understand “fear of spoiling”. It prevents good discussion and knowing the ending has personally never prevented me from reading a book. After all, how a story is told is far more important and than what is said.
I also wonder if others really avoid a book once they know its end. For example, the article in the Guardian spilling out in big letters that Beside the Sea is about a mother who kills her two children lead to more sales than any other review of any other Peirene book. The book sold out on amazon within hours.
And on Saturday, we sold 12 Hallands to salon attendees who listened to the discussion and are now dying to read the book.
I wish reviewers would dare to spill the beans more. It would get us away from “this is a great read” and more into analyzing what the text has to say.
“Ok then. You make a start.” Peirene grins at me. “Who killed Halland?”
“I can’t tell you.” I smile.
“Why not? Are you backpedalling?”
“I can’t tell you, because I don’t know.”
“But you read the book.”
“Indeed I have – a number of times. And I really don’t know. I wish you would read it and tell me.”
The Nymph is now reading. She hasn’t muttered a word since.
Image by bigoteetoe.