Blog

Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
Image
A dinner party last week! A proper old-fashioned, 'Darling, this pavlova is heaven' dinner party for friends from Atlanta, Georgia. These are the Good Americans, kind to a fault, charming, interesting, concerned, politically aware, smart. Only one thing had been overlooked. We'd forgotten to mention to them how ill I am now. As if to prove the point, I provided a spectacular example of How Ill I…
23 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
Image
In Waitrose at the weekend I bumped into Max Schindler, the awesome artist who creates the Bryant & May covers, like the one on the left. I had always pictured him as young, small, rather shy. He was around 6'6", clad in black, a bit scary-looking, middle-aged, wild eyed and twinkly. We held a mutual admiration society meeting over the courgettes. --- My neighbour queued twelve hours to see the…
47 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
Image
They used to talk of the 'elevator pitch' - a three-minute blast of information that reduces your book/ film/ play to something even an executive can understand. Today I still produce a synopsis for each book I write, so that editors can present them at internal meetings. But I'm really bad at them, and for one simple reason. At the time the synopsis is required, the book is an inchoate…
53 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Books
Image
Lately TV drama has been playing tricks on us. The peak so far probably came with 'Landscapers', a true crime story disturbingly redesigned around the protagonists' fantasy lives. It's something novelists did with some frequency until publishers decided to play it safe and revert to Victorian narrative - solid, straightforward, nothing too tricksy or clever. Which is how crime has ended up in its…
18 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
Image
How can you feel such a strong connection with a stranger? (On Queen Elizabeth's death, 8th September 2022) It's traditional for us to gather around Buckingham Palace in times of difficulty and uncertainty as well as celebration. And so it was yesterday, with thousands standing silently waiting for news, then remaining into the night, singing hymns and breaking into the National Anthem. Some were…
31 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory & The Arts
Image
New evidence shows that human beings were already standing on their own two feet seven million years ago. So it would seem I'm going in the reverse direction, for I'm now barely able to stand up some days. The neurological damage to my lower limbs, my weight-loss and general unwellness suggest that I will have to finally curtail my travelling. (I know, I photograph as my usual picture of health…
9 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
Image
Our Easyjet flight to Barcelona should have been fully masked, but most Britons simply forgot. After all, Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had failed to mention the pandemic for months. Consequently the Husband caught a bad cold on the flight, then I got it, and our travel plans fell apart. To make up for it, old friends from Madrid and Poland came to visit. The heatwaves persisted and storms failed to…
14 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
Image
Fantasy Schmantasy I know it's my problem. I've tried so many times with fantasy novels, but there's only a very fine strand of them I can really appreciate. Those are the ones carrying the weight of reality with them, the ones that put humans ahead of invented creatures. I always loved the film 'Dragonslayer', partly for Ralph Richardson's speech explaining why the dragon is angry; he's old and…
26 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Books
Image
Publishing is a bipolar industry. Its subjects are cute or bleak, its publicity blitzes star-driven and hyped-to-death or lost and invisible. I try not to judge books by their covers but you can often discern entire plots from the jacket. I know there are sections of the market not aimed at me, like the book about singing crawdads, whatever they are, which looks like 'The Bridges of Madison County…
Tags:
Don Winslow
40 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
Image
Transylvania’s Castle Bran is only the fictional home of Count Dracula, but when Bram Stoker used it as a direct model for his novel, it was granted an awkward place in Romania’s history. The government would rather not be remembered for a British pulp author, but the image stuck in the public consciousness, and therefore it’s the most visited place in that contradictory country. In 1920, the…
24 comments

Years