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New Book from Robert Pimm now available!

The paperback version of Seven Hotel Stories is now out.  It looks like this:

I’m pretty excited about this, so all shares, retweets etc welcome!

The text on the back reads:

“Funny, pacy and sexy” – Matthew Parris

You’ll never make a fuss at a hotel again. (more…)

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Friday 18 October: come to my live reading in Innsbruck!

Hello to all you readers out there.

I shall be reading from my Berlin thriller Blood Summit at the Stadtbibliotek (city library) in Innsbruck at 1900 on 18 October.  Come along!

The reading has been organised by the English Reading Circle in Innsbruck at the magnificent Stadtbibliotek, whose rather good slogan is “Innsbruck’s biggest living room – a place for everyone”.  This seems a splendid description of a library.  You can read about the event at the site of the Stadtbibliotek.  I shall read from Blood Summit and will be happy to answer questions, as well as signing copies. (more…)

From Russia with Love: sexist, homophobic cold war time capsule

What if Ian Fleming wrote a James Bond novel in which the hero did not appear until halfway through?

The cover of my Folio Society edition of “From Russia with Love” is by Fay Dalton

Such a book exists.  It is the fifth novel in the series, From Russia with Love, which came out in 1957.  The first ten chapters of the book outline a dastardly Soviet plot to kill Bond.  They take place in Crimea and Moscow within the bureaucracy of SMERSH – an actual organisation created by Stalin in 1943 whose name is an acronym for “SMErt SHpionam” or “death to spies”.

These chapters introduce two of Fleming’s most memorable villains: (more…)

Diamonds are Forever: review, quotes, civil servants and “shills”

A new James Bond movie, No Time to Die, lurches over the horizon.  Will it be any good?

Almost certainly not (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).

Will it contain bizarre and dated attitudes to women, clothed in feeble nods to political correctness?  Almost certainly.

But I will keep hoping.

Despite the ghastliness of most recent Bond outings, I remain a fan of the original Ian Fleming novels.  I am the proud owner of a growing set of Folio Society editions, and recently read Diamonds are Forever, whose illustrations by Fay Dalton evoke the mood of the book:

The story moves at a leisurely pace.  Bond does not take the menace of US gangsters seriously, and attempts a relationship with the magnificent but damaged Tiffany Case before a satisfying resolution on board a transatlantic liner.  Like many in the series, it contains a good deal of language which by today’s standards is racist, homophobic and misogynistic.  I tend to feel that such texts should not put a book out of bounds for today’s audiences, even if they make a modern reader cringe: they are a reminder of how far we have come.  But many readers may feel differently.

Diamonds are Forever also contains some splendid set-piece descriptions, for example of the “Acme Mud and Sulphur Baths” or of US horse-racing at Saratoga, which are reminiscent of the descriptions of fox-hunting and cross-country horse racing which appear regularly in Trollope. (more…)

The Americans: Return to California

When I climb into an Uber driven by Jonathan (not his real name) in San Diego, he is playing reggae.  Rashly, I comment on this. He tells me, silencing the music as he does so, that he likes reggae because the music speaks for the downtrodden and left behind of the earth.  The world would be better, he said, if we could get rid of money.

Unfortunately, the credit card payment has already gone through.

San Diego has many beautiful features.  This is the beach at La Jolla 

Visiting California in 2019 for the first time in 40 years, I am struck that people’s certainty about everything, together with their openness, friendliness and confidence that it is reasonable to explain their views, their religious beliefs, their financial situation, their relationships and their medical history to total strangers has not changed one iota from my 1979 hitchhiking trip around the United States (bold italics are links to other posts on this blog).

In 1979, too, I heard many confident and confidential explanations of how the world really worked from people I met hitch-hiking.  One young man in Seattle of profoundly liberal views, including on the legalisation of narcotics, argued passionately that numerous events which I regarded as historic facts had not in fact taken place.  A truck-driver with whom I shared a ride in Arizona regaled me and others in the vehicle with an account of his miraculous escape when the driver of the vehicle in which he had been riding had been impaled on girders projecting from the trailer of another vehicle.  He told us of his subsequent stranding in the desert; his wandering in the wilderness; and his eventual escape to be with us on the ride. (more…)

Was wäre wenn? Mein Berlin-Thriller “Blood Summit” auf Deutsch

Vor kurzem war ich zu Besuch in Berlin.  Ich habe den Reichstag besichtigt: die Kulisse für meinen Berlin-Roman Blood Summit.

Blood Summit gibt es noch nicht auf Deutsch – ich suche einen Verlag.  Aber wenn Sie gern wissen würden, worum es geht, schauen Sie bitte dieses Video an.  Und wenn Sie noch mehr Infos möchten, schreiben Sie mir!  Oben rechts, “Contact me”.  Das geht ganz einfach.

Blood Summit ist ein echter Thriller: viel Blut, viel Action, unterhaltsam und schnell zu lesen.  Die perfekte Lektüre, wenn Sie English einigermaßen beherrschen, und auch für Buch- und Lesegruppen gut geeignet.

Wenn Sie die ersten paar Kapitel ausprobieren möchten, schauen Sie sich das an.  Einen Artikel zum Video und zu meinem Besuch in Berlin, finden Sie hier.

Happy reading!  Viel Vergnügen beim Lesen!

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please follow me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see blue “click here” button).  Or you can join my mailing list – I’ll be delighted to give you a free “Hotel Story” to say thanks.  My 5 pleasure paths provide a site-map and guide to the more than 300 posts on robertpimm.com.

P.P.S. Thanks to the lovely Sibylle Trost for the video and the lovely Andrea Linecker for teaching me German.  Excellent professionals.

P.P.P.S You can get hold of a copy of Blood Summit thus:

(i) go to Amazon.de (or your local Amazon if you live somewhere else).  You can order a paperback or download a copy for your Kindle or e-book;

(ii) if you live in Vienna, stroll along to Shakespeare & Company at Sterngasse 2.   It’s a terrific bookshop and stocks many other books in addition to Blood Summit;

(iii) come to one of my readings.

A recent reading at Cafe Korb in Vienna

I usually have books at my readings (see piano in the picture above) which I will be delighted to sign for you.  At the readings, I usually read a couple of chapters and then answer questions; up to now, people have seemed to enjoy them.  If you buy a paperback elsewhere and bring it along, I’ll be happy to sign it, too.

(iv) if you want to read the book for free you can take a 30-day trial membership of “Kindle Unlimited” which permits you to read books on Kindle, including Blood Summit, for free.  Or you may already be a member of Kindle Unlimited.  I’ve been surprised how many readers access the book this way.

A distinguished cafe off the beaten track: Cafe Eiles

An Austrian friend of mine was reading my Great Vienna cafe reviews recently (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).

My friend commented: But my favorite coffee house you did not even name.  It is the Café EILES… Friendly staff, great environment, good coffee. And all the essential papers. And they do leave you alone, this is priceless. All the other coffee places I visit several times a month waiters become friendly and ask you things or even worse they involve you into their own problems, just because I am very friendly and leave good tips… 

The Eiles is spacious, in the tradition of the grand old Viennese cafes

There is much wisdom in these comments:

(i) friendly staff: I have often written about the grumpiness and mixed quality of waiters in Vienna and in Germany.  As someone said to me the other day, “you don’t go to the classic cafes for good coffee or good service – you go for the entire cafe experience”.  Most perceptive.  But the service in the Eiles is good; (more…)

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