The first part of his appearance at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival wouldn’t have been out of place in the comedy section of the Fringe. Proving he is as funny in person as he is on the printed page, Hutchison spent an enjoyable half hour or so riffing on his religious and mythological inspirations, causing much laughter from his young and appreciative audience.
After moving on to his tales of student life in Aberdeen and the escapades of his rather less than sane housemate Smarty, Hutchison then pressganged young members of the audience (including his own daughter) to act as impromptu microphone stands, and treated fans to readings from The 13th Horseman and The Book Of Doom, the first and second titles in his comic fantasy series.
Peppered with funny dialogue and clever references to his source material which adults & children alike will enjoy, the books have an irreverent and playful Pratchett-like feel to them, and are also packed with the kind of action sequences kids love.
And as he leads an eager line of fans out to the neighbouring signing table in the Children’s Bookshop, Hutchison looks set to bring even more readers under his magical — and cleverly comic — spell.
Barry Hutchison’s We’re All Doomed was at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 11 August