Robert Pimm: novels, short stories and more

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Are “The Hotel Stories” feminist?

At a recent reading from my blackly comic “Seven Hotel Stories” in Vienna, a man asked me:

‘These stories seem explicitly feminist. Is that intentional?’

This led to a discussion of “can a man be a feminist?”, to which most of the women present clearly answered “yes”.

My recent reading at “Shakespeare & Co” in Vienna. Great bookshop!

My answer was equally simple: yes, the “Hotel Stories” are intended to have a feminist flavour.

Indeed, an early reviewer of the story “The Two Rooms” commented: “dark, feminist and fun – not three words you often hear together”.

I would be delighted to hear your views. To the question: “Are the Hotel Stories Feminist?” would you say:

(i) yes

(ii) no

(iii) why does it matter?

(iv) some other answer.

If you do not yet own a kindle or paperback copy of Seven Hotel Stories (click on link for Amazon) you can find excerpts from all the stories in this blog – have a browse – including a free copy of The Two Rooms.

Let me know what you think!

Incidentally, another thoughtful person asked me whether I thought the title of my story Seven Ukrainian Girls” (Hotel Story no.8) could be politically incorrect. I urged her to read it and see what she thought. Comments welcome on this, too. You can read the first part of “Seven Ukrainian Girls” at the link.

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see the “click here” blue button).  Check out the range of writing on this site via my 5 pleasure paths.

 

“Blood Summit” live readings in Berlin 21-22 February

My two live readings in Berlin are coming up.

I shall be reading from my thriller Blood Summit in Berlin on 21 and 22 February.  I will also be doing a tour of the Reichstag and nearby locations where the action in Blood Summit takes place.

A video by Sibylle Trost of me reading from “Blood Summit”.  Now you can see the real thing.

Unfortunately, the tour, first publicised last month, is sold out.  But the readings still have places available:

  • 21 February 18.00, a reading from Blood Summit in a room with a view of the Reichstag generously provided by Mazars GmbH & Co Berlin, Alt-Moabit 2, 10557.  Full details of how to register, plus help with planning your weekend in Berlin, are at this link.  This is a free event.  I will be signing copies of my books Blood Summit and Seven Hotel Stories.
  • 22 February 19.00, a reading from Blood Summit at the salon of Christiane and Ari Großkopf, Bamberger Str. 56, 10777 Berlin.  This is a free event which Christiane and Ari are kindly hosting.  If you would like to attend, please e-mail me on robertpimmauthor@gmail.com with your name(s).  I will also be signing books.

(more…)

The Americans

How a convicted murderer (“‘Killed a man with a pool cue.  Judge said it wasn’t premeditated…  Just kinda happened”) introduced me to his girlfriend – who despised him.  What I thought about love and sex as a student.  The lawyer who took me back to his office in Brooklyn.  Running out of gas in a Ford Pinto on the New Jersey Turnpike.  Soviet statues in Washington DC.  Being charmed by Mexican con artists on the Redwood Highway in Northern California.

Welcome to “The Americans”.  Who are they?  What can they teach us in the 21st Century?

On this page, all five previously-published episodes of “The Americans” are brought together.  This is a work in progress.

Prologue

The first thing I saw were his big butcher’s arms: broad and sheened with sweat.  Next, I saw tattoos and a square jaw, thick with stubble, set in a sullen half-smile.  A broken six-pack of Schlitz was 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.

Heading west on I-40, 1979  

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

‘Where are you heading?’ I asked. (more…)

Middlemarch: 26 quotes on gender and relationships

I am listening to literary folk on the Queen Mary Literary Festival at Sea (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).  After a powerful Martini in the Commodore Club, a well-read literary editor admits he has never read George Eliot’s classic 1872 novel Middlemarch.  

This depiction of Dorothea and Will Ladislaw does not make “Middlemarch” look a fun, contemporary read

Like some other 19thC fiction, Middlemarch has provoked negative responses or indifference over the years – yet critics now see it as one of the greatest novels in the English language.

I agree, and I don’t.  Middlemarch is a daunting read – over 900 pages in most editions.  Not much happens; there is an immense cast-list of characters; and some of the issues with which it deals, such as the 1832 Reform Act, have faded from memory.

Yet the wisdom (more…)

Seven Ukrainian Girls – now available on Amazon!

Welcome to a brand new “Hotel Story”.

Seven Ukrainian Girls is the eighth story in the series, and follows on from the tales collected in my book Seven Hotel Stories.  

The Ultra Platinum Paradise Beach Resort offers fabulous facilities.  The exclusive Black Hole Coral Reef Dive Adventure, the Blue Planet Fish Restaurant and the Metaphysical Balance Repair Clinic and Spa should surely guarantee guest satisfaction.

So why is the Ultra Platinum losing money – and why is no-one drinking the famous Megastar all-day cocktails at the Beachfront Ultra Platinum Club?

Ms N, the world’s most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager, has been sent in to solve some problems.  Her beautiful but naive ally Tatiana has accompanied her.

Ms N believes that “in every challenge, there is an opportunity”.  But how will she tackle the hotel’s problems by calling in seven beautiful Ukrainian girls, who bring with them five large suitcases of high pork traditional country sausages? (more…)

“Blood Summit” readings in Berlin 21-22 February

It is time to plan your weekend in Berlin.

I shall be doing two readings from my thriller Blood Summit in Berlin on 21 and 22 February.

A video of me reading from “Blood Summit”.  Now you can see the real thing.

Details are:

  • 21 February 18.00, a free reading from Blood Summit in a room with a view of the Reichstag at Mazars GmbH & Co Berlin, Alt-Moabit 2, 10557.  Full details of how to register, plus help with planning your weekend in Berlin, are at this link.  This is a free event.  I will be signing copies of my books Blood Summit and Seven Hotel Stories.
  • 22 February 19.00, a reading from Blood Summit at the salon of Christiane and Ari Großkopf, Bamberger Str. 56, 10777 Berlin.  This is a free event which Christiane and Ari are kindly hosting.  If you would like to attend, please e-mail me on robertpimmauthor@gmail.com with your name(s).  I will also be signing books.

(more…)

Vienna’s best cafés: the ultimate guide

Vienna is full of cafes.  But which are best?

The entrance to the Cafe Hawelka – photo Robert Pimm

Many Viennese cafes are rather good.  I like the fact that most of them use old-fashioned Viennese coffee types (kleine Schwarzer, kleine Brauner, Verlängerter, Franziskaner) instead of, or sometimes in addition to, the world-conquering Italian descriptors (Cappuccino, Macchiato, Latte & Co).

Some Vienna cafes have a wonderful, unrenovated charm, often accompanied by service which varies from the friendly and efficient to the traditional clockwork stop-motion effect where waiters emphasise by their every action the fact that they will not deviate from their intended, inexorable plan of action under any circumstance.

But then, what do you want?  Would you rather, in Vienna, have a traditional-looking Austrian waiter, who maybe doesn’t speak English and isn’t conspicuously polite, or a fast-moving identikit youth who could be in Seattle or Siena?

I even mention the service of Viennese waiters in my novel Biotime.

Viennese cafes also often serve terrific cakes; and other food and drink, from sausages to breakfast and beer.  Check the menu; and choose your cakes at the counter if you’re not sure.

All of the cafes reviewed are ones I would to return to.  If a cafe does not appear in the list, that means either that I haven’t tried it yet; or that I have tried it and am not desperate to return.

Reviews

Cafe Bräunerhof (Stallburggasse 2, 1st District).  Nestling in a back street near the tourist (more…)

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