Saturday, October 10, 2009


More from my interesting interview with Philip Kerr.

11] If you could only take one book onto a desert island which would it be?

Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. I like Gibbon. He hated Christians for their religious intolerance, you know. I am somewhat to the left of Julian the Apostate here. We should have a pantheon where all gods are welcome, but monotheism is forbidden on pain of death. I like the Romana. We should get back to throwing a few people to the lions I think. And not just Christians. Law and Order Roman style in Britannicus for ten years would suit very well.

12] Your Bernie Gunther series both entertains and educates, if they could only do one of these which would it be?

Entertain. I don't think it's any accident that Graham Greene is always a better writer when he writes 'an entertainment'. Those books like Brighton Rock will endure for a while longer anyway.
You can pull a soap box out and preach about something only if you have taken the trouble to entertain your reader. Also, they don't notice it then, too. I learned that from Goebbels.

13] Are there any more Bernie Gunther books in the pipeline?

Yes. I am plotting one now. I like plotting for several months before I put pencil on paper.

[To be continued, the final part of this interview will be posted on Tuesday 13 October]

Noticing my attention, he was moved to inform me that the Polish foreign minister, Josef Beck, had demanded a solution to the problem of the Polish minority in the Olsa region of Czechoslovakia:
'Just like a bunch of gangsters, isn't it, sir?' he said. 'Everyone wants his cut.'

The Pale Criminal: Philip Kerr 1990


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