Saturday, September 13, 2008

The last blog from Crete for a few days. Catching the ferry this evening and heading for Athens. Do I really need a break? Well, a change is as good as a rest I suppose and it will do me good to get away from the novel for a while.

Didn’t get around to finishing The Book Thief. Far from me to denigrate anybody’s artistic work, especially if it is one of love, but I really just could not get on with this book and, arriving at Part 9 decided I really had had enough and no longer cared how it ended, what happened to Hans Hubermann or Liesel or Rudy or Max. I was getting through it at no more than two pages at a time anyway and even that with difficulty. Penny Maffin raved about it, as did Douglas, and I am sure many many more, so my sense of appreciation must be well out of kilter.

On the other hand I whipped through Reginald Hill’s Dialogues of the Dead thoroughly enjoying every word and am now into the follow-up, Death’s Jest-Book which will accompany me to Athens. Reginald hill has a new fan.

Douglas is sending When The Devil Rides and Dead On Time to Barnaby Thompson at Ealing Studios and the autobiography has been printed ready to go on its journey into the great wide world. It’s amazing how the hundred and odd euro keep slipping unexpectedly through our fingers, the latest being the printer which, half way through the biography, gave up the ghost and necessitated the purchase of a new one. Like a deal of modern equipment it would seem to be programmed to last just a moment after the warranty expires but, hopefully, something good will come out of all this activity, at least we hope so.

Is it amazing or is it par for the course that people are so rude these days in ignoring requests to answer enquiries? I think particularly of publishers. I think particularly of Penguin Ireland. Mind you, some have a reason for not answering, like 20th Century Fox or Warner Chappell or copywrite thieves of that ilk. Why have I never received royalties for my four songs in The Double Deckers, the music of which has just been re-released by Cherry Records? Somebody has been and is making money out of my (and others’) work but it most certainly isn’t me and no one will admit to any responsibility. The world is full of crooks.

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