Robert Pimm

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Robert Pimm: my first public reading – 16 March in Vienna

Have you ever wondered what Robert Pimm looks like in person?

Now you can find out.

I will be performing my first public reading at 19.30 on 16 March at the Cafe Korb, Brandstätte 9, in the First District of Vienna.  Details are at the Cafe Korb Facebook page.

The Cafe Korb is a fine cafe, as I have reviewed separately.  Its glories include an Art Lounge – click on the link for a 360-degree view.  The cultural programme is eclectic and sublime – upcoming events range from “Who’s Afraid of the Jewish Mother?”, through the Korb’s famous Philosophical Evenings, to a performance by US jazz, blues and soul singer Margaret Carter.

It is in this splendid space that I shall be reading excerpts from my thriller Blood Summit – a world premiere.

The Art Lounge of Cafe Korb – worth a zoom, or a visit

The Art Lounge is not fantastically large and I am hoping it will be pretty packed.  Entry is free, and I will answer questions after the reading.  I look forward to seeing you there.


P G Wodehouse: 5 wondrous quotations from “Thank You, Jeeves”

My blog How to read P G Wodehouse: a practical guide praised Plumtopiaa P G Wodehouse specialist, for its advice on precisely this subject.  I thoroughly recommend the site.

More recently, in my blog How to read P G Wodehouse: a new prescription, I savoured the fruits of recent roaming of the Plum pastures; and cited juicy quotations from the outstanding Ring for Jeeves.

Indeed, I have been struck by the poverty of many self-styled treasuries of quotations when it comes to Plum’s oeuvre.

So here, without further ado, are a few additional succulent fruit, assembled by me with pleasure from Thank You, Jeeves.


The cover of the Folio edition of ‘Thank You, Jeeves’

Thank You, Jeeves strikes me as one of the funniest of the Jeeves tales (quite an accolade – Ed). Jeeves himself has oiled off elsewhere for much of the action, but in his absence, Bertie Wooster’s ability to get into scrapes is exploited to outstanding effect.  Such scenes as a night in which Bertie repeatedly fails to find a place to rest his head are (more…)

“Blood Summit” on sale here

The book fits right in, between Ian Fleming and John le Carré.  Good company.

“Blood Summit” at Shakespeare & Co in Vienna

It gave me pleasure when Shakespeare & Co, the famous Vienna English language booksellers, offered to stock Blood Summit.  I am proud of the book and it has received good reviews (NB if you have read the book and enjoyed it, please write a review on Amazon!)  But to see it in an actual bookshop was a thrill.

If you live in Vienna, I suggest you go right down to Shakespeare & Co and buy yourself a book from their well-stocked shelves.

No author can fail to be struck by the split between book sales and Kindle downloads.  In my case, roughly 80% of people buy the paperback, even though it costs more (£7.74 vs £2.95 on at time of writing – the price varies with the dollar).

I can understand that.  Holding a good book in your hand gives you a surge of hard-wired pleasure.

My Hotel Stories, by contrast, are only available so far as a Kindle edition.  Should I bring out a paperback?  Views welcome!

The pricing of Blood Summit, incidentally, helps explain Amazon’s model.  For my 295-page paperback, printing costs mean the minimum price Amazon allows me to charge is around £6.30.  At that price I, as author, receive zero commission.

For a Kindle download, by contrast, an author may sell a book for any price down to 99 US cents.  Oddly, between 99 (more…)


2017: 10 best blogs

I shall not try to summarise 2017 (thank God, I hear you cry): every journalist on earth is doing that.

Instead, I have chosen my favourite ten posts, out of the 47 I published in 2017.  Which is your favourite?  Let me know.  And feel free to re-post this on Facebook or to “like” it – if you do.

A novelty this year was my Picture Quiz – not including this picture from Cuba. Spot the Che Guevara tattoo

It wasn’t easy choosing a shortlist.  I’ve left out many favourites, including my account of how, aged 8, I used to electrocute myself regularly with my girlfriend Barbara in Wonder Woman and Wartime Moral Confusion; or my recent review of The Last Jedi 3/10: the galaxy’s most shagged-out designers? (more…)


How to read P G Wodehouse: a new prescription

My blog How to read P G Wodehouse: a practical guide praised Plumtopiaa P G Wodehouse specialist, for its splendidly non-prescriptive advice on precisely this subject.

In fact I have just oiled over for a further immersion in Plumtopia, notably this informative piece about P G Wodehouse societies including The P G Wodehouse Society UK.  

I can verify that the site is a veritable motherlode of P G Wodehouse-related info.  Recommended.

Meanwhile I have been continuing my own exploration of the oeuvre of the author known as “Plum” (short for “Pelham”, his first name).  I have so far completed my perusal of Carry on Jeeves, Very Good Jeeves, The Inimitable Jeeves, The Code of the Woosters, Joy in the Morning and Ring for Jeeves.  The standard is consistent, although I have taken medical advice not to binge on more than three consecutive P G Wodehouse novels, as intensive research shows this may reduce their impact.

The cover of my Folio Society edition of “Ring for Jeeves”

The efficacy of this new reading prescription has been proven by a Wodehouse abstinence (more…)


From sea to shining sea – and back again. Prologue.

The first thing I saw were his big butcher’s arms: broad and sheened with sweat.  Next I saw tattoos; a square jaw, thick with stubble, set in a sullen half-smile, half-sneer; and a six-pack of Schlitz, wedged between his thighs on the driver’s seat.

Schlitz – the beer that made Milwaukee famous.  What made Milwaukee famous made a loser out of me.

Was it dangerous to enter the cab of the old Ford pick-up?  Standing by the roadside outside Durango in the evening heat, I had the usual split second to decide.  I sensed contradictory feelings: fear; an urge to keep moving; and thirst.

‘Where are you heading?’ I asked.


The next town.

‘OK.’  I got in.  The cab smelled of camphor.

My 1979 diary and Rand McNally Interstate Road Atlas.  The flag was originally stuck to my red rucksack as a hitch-hiking aid

It was July ’79.  Jimmy Carter was President.  Donald Trump was a 33-year-old real estate developer in (more…)


“From Sea to Shining Sea – and Back Again” – preview


The main piece has now been published  



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