Of course the biggest mafia in Russia has always been the government; in Soviet times, the Communist Party, and now a circle of former KGB and FSB.
As a novelist, I tell stories and people give me money. Then financial planners tell me stories and I give them money.
I hate to be categorized.
I've got a book of poetry by the bed, one of these big collections that goes back to the Greeks and Romans.
Julian Assange is certainly no hero. The man behind WikiLeaks issued threats as if he were Dr. No bent on ending civilization as we know it. We will find him, lock him up, and throw away the key. But give the man credit; for a week the truth was laid bare.
I've always been struck by how unsuspicious people are in general, if you tell them what you're about.
The great thing about being a writer is that you are always recreating yourself.
'High Concept' means a book or a film whose core idea can be stated in a single sentence, such as 'Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito are twins.' Or, 'Arnold is pregnant.'
If you take the contempt some Americans have for yuppies and multiply it by 10 you might come close to understanding their attitude towards the City, as they call it - London, the people of the south.
The government is shutting down the coal industry, they say it's cheaper to draw nuclear power off the French grid and cheaper to buy coal from Colombia.
Then there was the whole concept of coal mining, which is a culture unto itself, the most dangerous occupation in the world, and which draws and develops a certain kind of man.
I feel very bad about getting things wrong.
Then years back, when I moved to California, I happened to see a book about fashions of 19th-century Victorian England, only four pages of which was devoted to the dress of the working class.
I never thought I would just be doing Arkady books.
I'd always been a great fan of George Orwell.
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