If Writers Were Chocolates: The Mountains to Sea Book Festival 2009

I was volunteering at the inaugural Mountains to Sea Book Festival in Dun Laoghaire last weekend and it was a great few days of excitement, talks by Irish and international authors and – that most precious of all Irish commodities – sunshine! The event was brilliantly organised with the DLR County Council firmly continuing to support arts in the area despite the big R and the list of authors being intriguing and varied.

poster-small-image mountains

Something for everyone really and some very pleasant literary surprises for me personally. Which made me think of the Forrest Gump quote ‘Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get’. So instead of giving you the spiel about which books to read and which writers to look out for, I thought, what if writers were chocolates?

Here is my (tongue-in-cheek) verdict. Let me know what chocolate your favourite writers compare to best. 

Dark Chocolate Swirl with Mint Centre: Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt

Beckett keynote speech on Thursday night delivered with an understated sense of humour and many surprising anecdotes. General sense of sophistication and depth of thought. Mint centre allowing just the slightest glimpse of personality behind the public image. Type of chocolate that would go well with a classy glass of champagne on a cold winter’s night in front of an open fire.

Milk Caramel Heart: Claire Kilroy, Jill Dawson, Sadie Jones

Pleasant, warm-hearted flavour which lifts your spirit without being merely entertaining. In fact, all the stories unfolded into fascinating adventures of the mind and the soul. Exotic locations mixed with local shores. The past with the present. The stark reality of life with the lifelong search for one’s purpose in this world. Satisfying aftertaste leaving you wanting to gobble up another one. And another one.

Honeycomb Crunch: Sebastian Faulks, Patrick Gale, Anne Enright

Witty, refreshing taste with a smooth finish. Unexpected twists and turns along the way. Serious issues balanced out by the lighthearted way of reflecting on them. This is the perfect treat for when you want something substantial yet accessible with the bonus of an added crunchiness factor. 

White Chocolate Coffee Truffle: Douglas Kennedy, Ed O’Loughlin

Wakeup call from your stomach covered in a pleasant layer of approachableness (what a nice chunky, gooey word). Stories that weave from Ireland across the pond and further afield all the way to Africa. An insight into worlds past and present which leave your palate begging for more while still trying to take in the bite that’s currently melting in your mouth. A bouquet of tasty surprises, simply irresistable.

85% Dark Chocolate Log: John Carey, Declan Kiberd, Diarmaid Ferriter

This one goes straight to your head. Distinctive, dizzying, intelligent flavour. It awakens all your senses and makes you immediately sit up straighter in your chair. Makes you hungry for more of its wry sense of humour and tongue tingling facts. A chocolate for the discerning audience who don’t take no for an answer and like a good (culinary) challenge. Delicious.


3 responses to “If Writers Were Chocolates: The Mountains to Sea Book Festival 2009

  1. Oh, I like this post. Mouth watering…
    What is missing from the list are the colourful fruit geleés covered with finest milk chocolate from the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire. Yes! Readings (more or less theatrical – performances), story telling for kids from authors such as Sara Webb, Judi Curtin and Justin Somper, just to mention a few, which took place on both Saturday and Sunday. All in a wonderful idyllic fable-like atmosphere of the charming sunny park!

  2. Wow! You saw an impressive number of authors! I agree with your summaries for those authors I know. I haven’t thought about authors in this way before, but they do fall into several distinct groups – great analysis!

    • Thanks Jackie! I was volunteering at the event, so I managed to be at most of the readings over the weekend, it was great fun. It’s fascinating to see the authors both on and off stage. The ones I admire most are just as pleasant behind the scenes as in front of an audience.

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