During the run of Litquake, there's sometimes a tendency (never by us!) to be timid in the early offerings, babying the reserves of literary interest for the madness of the fest's closing night, Lit Crawl. Here's a tip: Fear Lit Crawl. You should go, of course, because Lit Crawl is an alternate universe in which writers are treated like rock stars by everybody in the city. But understand that you will be jostled and confused and spun around, and much of the literature will occur on the other side of a tall man's shoulder, sometimes with you standing on the sidewalk, hearing nothing but traffic and seeing nothing but cable knit. During Litquake's run, however, you can stroll into many of the more than 100 events like royalty, especially those that offer the miracle of advance ticketing.
But don't get cocky.
Expect Porchlight with Marc Maron (Oct. 10) to be mobbed. Same goes for with appearances by A-listers Thomas McGuane (Oct. 8), James Ellroy (Oct. 9), Jane Smiley (Oct. 9), Christopher Moore (Oct. 10), Julia Glass (Oct. 11), Ishmael Reed (Oct. 12), and Jeffrey Eugenides (Oct. 14).
And get a stool at the bar obscenely early for "That's My F*cking Stool! -- Writers at the Bar" (Oct. 9), because of the f*cking lineup: Alan Black, Jack Boulware, Beth Lisick, Joshua Mohr, and David Henry Sterry. There are also great events for people who don't read books at all, like Chelsea Handler on Oct. 13.
To get a sense of what Litquake is all about, attend Friday's kick-off party, "The Devil's Lexicon," then primp for Oct. 9's "The Great Night," which is possibly the most perfect Litquake event ever. It takes place at the summit of Buena Vista Park, and it features Chris Adrian, Andrew Sean Greer, and Daniel Handler. It includes, we quote, "fairies, maypoles, and twinkle lights," plus a string quartet, and "revelry" to celebrate Adrian's book The Great Night, which is a retelling of A Midsummer Night's Dream set in the city.
Litquake runs Oct. 7-15 at various venues in the Bay Area.