Cake? Check. Lit geeks at the bar? Yep. Blood-dripping down the walls? Most def. That can only mean one thing: a Vermin on the Mount book release party!
The man of the hour was none other than Legion of Vermin member Mark Sarvas, author of Harry, Revised and The Elegant Variation. I've been friends with Mark slightly longer than Vermin on the Mount has been around. In fact, Mark helped me pass out flyers for the first Vermin on the Mount at a writerly gathering at LACMA on summer evening nearly four years ago. In any event, I was honored to present Mark and introduce his debut novel. But it didn't work out that way.
We (that's Mark and I, not the "Royal We" that Mark catches so much flak for) decided to mix things up a bit. Mark selected all of the readers and served as host and I, well, why give away the surprise?
Next up was Maryanne Meyerhoff, who read from her lovely book, Four Girls from Berlin: a tribute to the extraordinary courage of four ordinary women.
Which brings us to Harry, Revised. There are all kinds of shameful things inside of Mark's book that might have made him squirm: hookers, masturbation, those goofy outfits cyclists wear, but instead I opted to read from a scene that is a testament to the novel's black comedy and deep melancholy. Mark was generous enough to give several copies of the book away during the Vermin raffle. Sparkling wine was opened, cake was served, and the night belonged to Harry.